“Thus says the Lord: Stand by the road and look, and ask for the ancient paths where the way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” – Jeremiah 6:16
In these days of unease and uncertainty, it is necessary to find comfort and solace. One of the time tested ways was to take a walk. Many past peoples have journeyed to sacred places to find rest and peace. We do not have the opportunity now to travel distances to Christian holy places to seek relief. We do still have the opportunity to walk and see God’s work in our own spaces.
Take that walk in your neighborhood where you can see the work of creation in magnificent and towering white pine, ash trees and a variety of hardwoods ready to greet the spring with their green foliage. Your path may also lead you besides steams, rivers, and lakes where you can look upon God’s gift of ever living water. If one is so fortunate, a person can seek and walk on the mountaintop. Linger on top of the mountain; glory in and witness all the good of God’s creation. As you journey, do not forget to watch for the birds of the sky and listen for their songs. Immersed in all these elements of God’s creation, you may want to bring to mind St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Creatures:
Most High, all-powerful, good Lord, Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and all blessing, To You alone, Most High, do they belong, and no human is worthy to mention Your name.
Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, Who is the day and through whom You give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor; and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars, in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind, and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather, through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water, who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom You light the night, and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.
Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your love, and bear infirmity and tribulation. Blessed are those who endure in peace for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whom no one living can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin. Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will, for the second death shall do them no harm.
Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks and serve Him with great humility.
We are all on a strange and unfamiliar journey. We walk this journey in faith knowing we do not walk it alone. It is a sacred walk with God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and with all of God’s creatures. We do not know how or when this particular journey will end, but we can find comfort in the fruits of God’s creation, knowing by faith that the story of creation is still going on. What faith requires of us is “…to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
– Gary Gisselman