Faith Column: Nature as God’s first Bible |

Faith Column: Nature as God’s first Bible

“Nature is the expression of God, His primary word, or the Original Bible.” Many Christian mystics, from St. Augustine to Thomas Merton, saw the Bible, not as the primary revelation of God, but as secondary to nature. Nature existed as the only Bible for 13.7 billion years before man every put “the word” to paper.

Bearing the Divine Fingerprint:

“If you would learn more, ask the cattle,

Seek information from the birds of the air.

The creeping things of earth will give you lessons,

And the fishes of the sea will tell you all.

There is not a single creature that does not know

That everything is of God’s making.

“God holds in power the soul of every living thing,

And the breath of every human body —

Book of Job 12:7-10.”

The rock, the soil (dirt), the microbes, the plants, and the animals (ancient as well as many modern) were in existence long before man’s appearance. Everything, including man, bears the divine fingerprint, footprint, and “similitude.” It was not the three monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam that should have recognized the truth, beauty, and goodness of this footprint. It’s been mostly the Native religions, the Hindus, the Jains, and the Buddhists who seemed to assert that “there is one Creator God who made all things.”

God holds in power the soul of every living thing. My favorite contemplative moments are when I can walk the nature trail at Loudy Simpson. It has all the elements of Divine Reality underneath and inherent in the world of things. Science has discovered some 23,000 genes (those little dark spots on the chromosome that are the timers of creation) in the biological world. It’s beyond my comprehension how these little timing mechanisms work. Science has yet to figure it out too from my last studies. What the living entity will be, a tree, a grass, a bird of the sky, an insect, or a human being depends upon the combination of certain genes. Each living thing reveals some divine aspect of God’s presence on earth. The growth of the organism from two cells to some 10 trillion cells is amazing. I once taught embryology while in college. It always fascinated me as to when this gene knows when to control the development of some part of the whole — that is going from a glob of cells in the beginning and as development occurs when should an arm or a leg, or a liver be developed? It’s quite an electromagnetic process. Thousands upon thousands little processes are all occurring at once. Every living organism is a reflection of God. God loves everything that God has made!

Now let’s carry the story to a higher level. We also can see along the nature trail the sequencing or layering of the biological system. One species depends upon the one under it for survival. That is, the lower one part of this great chain is broken, and even one link withdrawn, the whole Catholic/universal vision can collapse. This is our spiritual and physical foundation. So in our decisions about the world around and under us, we either “honor God in all things or we soon lose the basis for seeing God in anything.”

“Praised be You, my Lord, through all your creatures.” — Francis of Assisi

F. Neil Folks calls himself the The Wandering Elder.
F. Neil Folks calls himself the The Wandering Elder.

F. Neil Folks calls himself the The Wandering Elder.

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