The world is charged with the grandeur of God

So many of the spiritual traditions within Catholicism seem to aim at detachment from the world (Benedictine, Eremitic, Carmelite), but this seems very different from the line of thinking in which the world is a text and sacrament. Given passages like the one below from the catechism, I’m curious to find specific passages from spiritual traditions that support the world not as inherently broken, but as inherently wondrous. The Franciscan tradition seems an obvious guess, but what about others and what about specific teachings and practices?

CCC 341
The beauty of the universe: The order and harmony of the created world results from the diversity of beings and from the relationships which exist among them. Man discovers them progressively as the laws of nature. They call forth the admiration of the scholars. The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator and ought to inspire the respect and submission of man’s intellect and will.

Yes, the world is a text and a sacrament–truth and beauty. It gives us an insight into our creator. But we all have to leave this world sometime and we CAN’T take it with us. I think some of the orders of religious just want their people to remember–as beautiful as this world is-- " Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

The Egyptians thought otherwise. They had all that lovely gold in their tombs.

My preciousssssssss.

Well. it appears you think that it is only remarkable that wealth would be in a tomb.
You really do want to go down that road about wealth and riches in the hands of say…?

It’s hard not to see the stringent asceticism as essentially Gnostic, though, isn’t it?

Consider, we can’t take the Bible (text) with us either, but we don’t train by resisting and detaching ourselves from what is beautiful about it. Right?

You can’t take the Bible as a thing with you but the words and teachings are Part of you so they will go… :slight_smile:

not so, the gold, silver, boats or cars…

Fair enough, but can’t we take with us the memories and joyful experiences? Trips to different countries, time spent at the lake house with family and friends, long hikes in scenic locations that only happened because I could afford to take time off from work, exhilarating moments in our curve-hugging Alfa Romeo?

Then there are other memories I can take, like the laughter of children scrambling from the school at the brink of Christmas break, the first snowflakes of the season . . .

All a far cry from hair shirts and fasting.

As a scientist, this touches me:

“And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.”

If anything could fill us with awe and inspire us to reflect on infinite intellect, surely it is the mind-boggling complexity of the cosmos and the strangeness of space-time.


Natures red in tooth and claw
It spites me, it spites me
Natures red in tooth and claw
It bites me, it bites me

Yep - that too

Yes, sometimes it does, and it’s hard to see the good in those situations. I think that’s because we can’t see the WHOLE picture… we will have to wait to SEE… but adversity teaches us lessons…

If this isn’t a recognizable thread, where might Pope Francis have been getting the idea?

“We are losing our attitude of wonder, of contemplation, of listening to creation and thus we no longer manage to interpret within it what Benedict XVI calls ‘the rhythm of the love-story between God and man.’” —Pope Francis

The “world” can refer to creation, or to the world of humans in its fallen state, with its often misguided values. St Francis forsook the latter while embracing the former.

It has always seemed to me like there should be a religious order that takes science as its particular area of specialization. A group that focused on science the way other orders focus on the poor or on battling theological heresy.

What is the justification for such an order?

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