Church Fathers, Day Four: St. Basil and the beauty of creation

See God in the beauty of creation

The marvelous perfection of creation, where everything fits and works together to bring about God’s plan, should help us keep God always in mind, says St. Basil. If we remain ever aware of the beauty of God’s creation, we’ll give sin no opportunities.

 “And God saw that it was good.”

God does not judge the beauty of his work by the charm of the eyes, and he does not form the same idea of beauty that we form. What he finds beautiful is what, in its perfection, shows all the fitness of art, and what works toward the use­fulness of its purpose. So God, who planned an obvious design in his works, ap­proved each one of them, because it fulfilled the purpose for which it was created.

A hand, an eye, or any part of a statue lying apart from the rest, would look beautiful to no one. But if each part is restored to its own place, the beauty of pro­portion, until now almost unperceived, would strike even the most uneducated. But the artist, before uniting the parts of his work, distinguishes and recognizes the beauty of each of them, thinking of the purpose that he has in view.

This is how Scripture depicts to us the Supreme Artist, praising each one of His works. Thus earth, air, sky, water, day, night, all visible things, remind us of our Benefactor. We shall not therefore give occasion to sin, we shall not give any room to the Enemy within us, if by constant recollection we keep God ever dwell­ing in our hearts.

–St. Basil, Hexameron, 3.10

IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .

When sin tempts me, does it help to remember that the object of my temptation was created good by God, and for a special purpose?

CLOSING PRAYER

Father, I praise and thank you that you have created order in a world without shape, giving every creature a place in your creation.

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