Church Fathers, Day Two: St. John Cassian and Seeing God Everywhere

See God everywhere

St. John Cassian remembers how the wise old abbot Moses told him to see God everywhere. If you approach with a pure heart, the world around you will show you His face.

We certainly do discover God by admiring his incomprehensible essence, which still lies hidden in the hope of the promise. But we also see him through the greatness of his creation, and the consideration of his justice, and the help of his daily providence. We see him when with pure minds we contemplate what he has done with his saints in every generation, when with trembling heart we admire his power, with which he governs, directs, and rules all things, or the vastness of his knowledge, and that eye of his from which no secrets of the heart can lie hidden.

We see him when we consider the sand of the sea, and the number of the waves measured by him and known to him, when in our wonder we think that the drops of rain, the days and hours of the ages, and all things past and future are present to his knowledge; when we gaze in unbounded admiration on that inef­fable mercy of his, which with unwearied patience endures countless sins that are every moment being committed under his very eyes. We see God in the number­less opportunities of salvation he grants to those whom he is going to adopt. We see him in the way he made us be born so that from our very cradles his grace and the knowledge of his law might be given to us.

Finally, we see him in the way he undertook the dispensation of his Incarna­tion for our salvation, and extended the marvels of his sacraments to all nations.

But there are numberless other considerations of this sort, which arise in our minds according to the character of our life and the purity of our heart, by which God is either seen by pure eyes or embraced.

–St. John Cassian, Conferences, 1.15

IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .

Are earthly affections keeping me from a real contemplation of God?

CLOSING PRAYER

Father, I give thanks and praise to you who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, fountains, rivers, lakes, and mankind after your own image; and above all that you did not forsake us when we erred, but drew us back to your heavenly mystery.

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