943. If you wish to know the Creator, come to know His creatures. ~Columbanus, Medieval Irish Monk

Out of the waters of God’s life
come the creatures of earth, sea, and sky.
With the birth of the creatures on the fifth day
there is the emergence of seeing, hearing,
smelling, tasting, and touching.
~J. Philip Newell

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One of the keys to listening needs to be simply an appreciative attentiveness to God’s creatures. The Book of Job says, “Ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you.” And to look to the animal world is not to look away from God; instead, it’s a way to look at a showing forth of the mystery of God. For it reveals something of the way of God’s seeing and sensing, and one can see as well that in Creation’s mysteries is part of the Christ mystery.

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I’ve seen animals, such as the bird in the photo above, who seem to be bowing before the Creator in gratitude for life, for the day, for His continuing Presence here. There is also the unbroken song of the creatures. And in Revelation John envisaged an unending song of praise being sung by all that swims and flies and has motion. He said every creature on earth here below and in the ocean beneath and in the air above was giving glory to God, singing Holy, Holy, Holy. ~Both paragraphs contain directly quoted, paraphrased, and/or adapted random excerpts from THE BOOK OF CREATION by J. Philip Newell

Consider first the Canada Goose,
brown body, whitish breast
black head, long black neck…
Then there’s the Barnacle Goose…
flight note
a rapidly repeated gnuk
gnuk gnuk gnuk gnuk gnuk gnuk gnuk
(like an ecstatic Eskimo)…
The snow goose
has a pure white plumage
with black-tipped wings…
In Europe you might take her for a swan
or maybe a gannet
till she lets you know abruptly
she’s all goose
so
there they go
through the wind, the rain, the snow
wild spirits knowing
what they know
~Kenneth White

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” ~Job 12:7-10  ✝

**Mike Bizeau posted the great photo of a bull elk on his blog, and I found the image of the bird with its head bowed on Pinterest

17 thoughts on “943. If you wish to know the Creator, come to know His creatures. ~Columbanus, Medieval Irish Monk

  1. Hi Natalie, I just had a long walk along a path by the ocean. Nothing fancy, but in Boston, actually in Dorchester. The water was this lovely pale green and the sky was misty and gray. And I kept thinking that I should pray more on this walk and thank God for all this and I did, which sort of pulled me out of the reverie of the walk because I try my best to be grateful, but reading what you just posted gives me an entirely different perspective. Next time I will smile at the geese overhead and in that smile, I bet I will feel God’s grace. What a beautiful post, thank you for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so welcome, Amy. And thanks for sharing your walk with me. I love that you will smile at the geese and I shall do the same this year so that we’ll both feel God’s grace. Hugs and blessings, N 🙂 ❤

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  2. Wonderful–you know I love Columba or Collumcille depending on your Gaelic, Scotch, Irish or Welch…and I love the reverence found in nature and the animals–as did the early Celtic Church… so much so that it was feared by the Roman branch that their Celtic kin were off on a tangent of pantheism–but it’s hard not to feel the pure wonderment when we are afforded a glimpse of The Creator when we are fortunate enough to wander from our city’s lights….
    hugs and love

    Liked by 1 person

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