Le blog de la Bergerie
I was looking at the Pacific, at the waves, at the clouds formations in the sky and reflecting on the beauty and the violence of it all. It got me thinking about life and death and how grand our little planet can be and how small I was, standing there, alone.... Suddenly, it even occurred to me that someone else, standing right here, a hundred years ago, might have had the same thoughts looking at the same panoramic view. And I liked that.
I like to see us linked beyond time and place. Now, what about someone standing here 10,000 years ago....Yes, it is a similar thought than 100 years ago, technically evoking the same link, but practically it does not work as well in my mind, in my imagination, I struggle more to grasp it. We do have clear testimonies of humans being here 100 years ago, I have seen family photos of French and Basque emigrants arriving here around that time, so it is a lot easier to imagine them on this particular beach. But 10,000 years ago? My mind draws a blank. It is possible that this is more a limit of my own imagination than anything else. But faith in God helps me understand and internalize better the extremely big - and the extremely small - as Pascal said. And helps me accepts my own limits in articulating them. And the ocean is still the ocean!
Faith in the God of history, the Father of the Word Incarnate, brings true coherence, complete harmony and a real wholeness to our life and to our world vision. And not only that but (and here is one caveat that will surprise some) it also brings freedom, true and absolute freedom! Just like self-discipline brings freedom, just as acquiring and maintaining healthy habits re: nutrition and outdoor exercises will free you from the avalanche of choices we get (at least in the West). Faith can be articulated in a reasonable manner, up to a point, the transcendant point. But caring for others, exercising daily as much as we possibly can the famous command of "love of neighbor" is very beneficial to society, especially when we understand that the "neighbor" in question exists whether we know him (or her) or not, whether we like him (or her) or not...
Thank God for the Judeo-Christian tradition and for its understanding of time!
Thank God for the Incarnation, thank God for Jesus Christ who came for all of us, for the whole world!
It seems nowadays that He is even more welcomed in other parts of the world than in the West. It seems that, for some, the love of science and reason is sometimes understood only as an "either…or..." approach. Either you believe in science or you believe in God. This is one of the most truncating and degrading view of all. Because both science and religion need to interact with each other. As JPII said "Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish." The temptation of reducing things to basic concepts, of putting them in little boxes, each with their own little label, is a very popular temptation.
It seems that, another common temptation in the West, is our attraction to the material world, our consumers addictions to comfort and constant distractions. Before we know it, we are overwhelmed by these particular influences and ignoring anything else, at least pushing them out of our vision. But watching the waves of the Pacific help me see the big picture. It grounds me in reality and at the same time, in a paradoxical way, it frees my mind and heart and soul to fly freely, it helps me embrace a more creative approach. It helps me see that studying the ocean is as valuable as writing poetry about it - and vice-versa.
We are truly meant for more, for bigger things, for reaching out to increase beauty and love, truth and justice in the world. The negative ions of this stormy weather can certainly energize me and stimulate my thoughts…. The beauty of this ocean and this sky tonight resonate so well in my heart that I wish I were a musician so I could share it better. But I'm not, I can only take photos and write a few comments. But I am sure that our mind and soul can store everything in more ways than one, so the energy I feel right now gives me courage and will help me spread love and peace. Or so I hope. The truth is, I'm pretty weak on my own and will resort to self-centered and lazy thoughts any day. This is why I need the grace of God.
And the blessing of living next to the Pacific Ocean. Or living in the mountains as I do when I am in France. Alpine peaks have the same effect on my soul. I love mountains! What a blessing it is to be able to go back and forth between those two places, one in Northern California and the other one in the French Alps.
To witness such grand beauty in nature brings me back to Christ! Everytime.
To God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Whether I am fascinating by the waves of the Pacific or embracing panoramic views of the French Alps, I am grateful to Christ, and I am rejuvenated by my walk and by faith!
Copyright © December 2014-March 2023 Michèle Szekely
The letter to Diognetus is a model of Christian life, of our place in the world, this one and the other one. It is a very simple, clear and practical explanation of this life and its consequences. Personnally, I love it. And what is surprising is that it applies greatly to our times (although it was written around the second century). The grace to see our own journey in the world as it is mentioned in the quote above, as a temporary sejour on our way to Eternal Life is quite an essential and wonderful gift, the gift of faith.
Links to the Letter to Diognetus, from the vatican (va) site
in English: the letter to Diognetus, vatican (va):Here