Beauty Hunger

I have always been drawn to beauty, as bees are called to nectar and deserts thirst for rain.  When I was an atheist, I found delight in the beauty of the natural world – which I would never have called God’s Creation, but only Earth or universe.  As a believing Christian, I now experience the beauty of the created world in a more personal and exquisitely intimate way, with true joy, as profound gift and Mystery.

life of pix,, tulips

 

Our Creator does not create with rigid rationing, but, rather, with generosity and full exuberance: 1000 seeds to bear one fruit tree, 1 million spermatozoa to bear one human being, 1 billion rocky planets to bear one earth…

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All God’s Creatures: 2 Month Fetus

What makes a human being a human being?  Is it a case of knowing one when we see one?  The Bible, however, teaches us not to judge by appearances.  And, so, there must be more to it…

human embryo in first month, looks like a tadpoleLooking at this picture of you, in your first month of life, you looked more like a tadpole than a human being.  In fact, scientists say that there is very little difference in appearance between a frog, a mouse, and a human being at the embryonic stage.  It’s right and natural that we have commonality with all living things – we are all creatures, after all, created to live on this earth.  Didn’t St. Francis sing of our brotherhood and sisterhood with the fish and the birds and the beasts of the fields and woods?  The variety of creatures in our planetary home is rich, amazing, and beautiful.  Some are green and slimy, able to hop and swim; some are small and furry, able to scurry and gnaw; and some are tall and long-haired, able to write poetry and map stars. Continue reading

Self-Evident Truth

In the United States, we will soon be celebrating Independence Day. Sometimes, we, moderns, think that the United States was formed without any thought of God. Americans, we believe, are self-made Men who will not submit to the authority of any other country – or any god. If that’s what you believe, then you don’t understand the very foundation of the United States of America at all.

Our foundation is the Created Order, which is truth, to which we are subject. We don’t just do what we do because we feel like doing it. The rational mind understands cause and effect, in the truth of order. And the rational mind also understands that faith is not without reason.

Sharing here two quotes. Let’s start with a famous one that we will credit to Thomas Jefferson. And then go on to a quote that I was surprised to learn came from jovial Benjamin Franklin. I invite you to reflect upon them as you will, this Independence Day. But, try not to stray from the truth of the quotes themselves. Following each are some of my own reflections…

declaration-of-independence-quote

And the next part is important to remember, Continue reading

The Atheistic Questions: Genesis

Saw this classic on a preview for a TV sitcom:

“If God made Adam and Eve and they had Cain and Abel, then where did Cain and Abel’s wives come from?”

Genesis Roelandt-Savery

The little girl preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation seems to have bewildered and flustered her “very Catholic” mother with this question. But, any “very Catholic” person should know the answer… Continue reading

The Sacred Heart in Scripture and Strawberries

strawberries

June is the month devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Catholic Church. You may ask, what is meant by the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Well, the Sacred Heart is Jesus. And devotion to the Sacred Heart is a devotion to the love of Jesus, devoting oneself to loving   Him entirely.  The heart is a symbol of love, of course, but also an ancient symbol for the core of one’s being, the sacred abode in which God dwells with the person… and more. I wrote more about the heart HERE, HERE, and HERE. For an article on the more scholarly particulars of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, please click HERE.

What does any of this have to do with strawberries? The answer to that is at the end, after a bit of reflective exploration…

Why Does Anything Exist?

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The Essence of the Ascension – Weird and Wonderful

Okay, it’s true, Catholics believe some radical things. Take the Ascension, for one. We profess that Jesus not only rose from the dead, but also went bodily to a supernatural place that we call Heaven. His risen body is glorified, we believe, able to eat, walk, withstand probing, and all the other things that a normal body can do – but also able to pass through walls and bear a deadly wound without death or bleeding. And, now, Jesus, in all that he is, both human and divine, abides bodily… somewhere… some where that isn’t exactly here… or there… somewhere from which he will return… somewhere which we hope to be. This is the Catholic Christian faith. And it does rather seem all too fantastic to be true.

But, then again, have you heard about quarks? Dark matter? Dark energy? The world which we take to be solid and true is too wonderful to comprehend in its entirety or even in the entirety of its smallest part… for what is its smallest part? We would know nothing of the existence of, say, subatomic particles if a privileged few people hadn’t “seen” them and then told us about them. Tales of whitedwarfs and blackholes sound like mere tall tales indeed, but the small percentage of our population, called scientists, are intelligent and fervent in their telling of them. And we accept. We have not seen the proof and, even if we did, most of us would not be able to understand the “proof” – but, we believe.

Life is profoundly complex and marvelously weird. We would be arrogant to think that everything in existence can fit into our limited brains. There is so much more than what we know, so much more than what we can imagine…. The myriad clusters of stars and sweep of galaxies in the night sky are as beautiful to my eyes as the exuberant profusion of blue forget-me-nots in the garden beneath my window. Sometimes, I may think that the superabundance of suns and planets in the universe renders the specially-intended and divinely-loved existence of human beings into a myth. Yet… is it a myth, a fairytale, that the superabundance of apple blossoms blooming only rarely yield forth a tree? From countless seeds come not countless plants – all that is required, all that is hoped for, is but one. DSCN8106This is how God creates. For this is how God loves. Profusely, limitless, overgenerous in creative exuberance and abundant forgiveness… what goodness there is now is only the smallest part of what will be.

So, yes, I believe. Jesus, our savior and Lord, is fully where he promised to be, where he will call us to join him one day. Although we may not know “where” that is, we know the way… the way of pure and self-giving love without limits. Just so, though we may not know the exact purpose and workings of the plethora of stars and flowers, we know the beauty… the wonder and awe-inspiring beauty of life…

– of life loved exuberantly into being.

© 2015 Christina Chase

Waiting to Awaken

I’m done writing about myself for a while. Blogs are supposed to be personal, I know, but there is such a thing as an overuse of the word “I”. I live and breathe, I see the world through my own eyes, I listen, I feel my own reactions – and, with profoundly human ability, I reflect upon these things in my mind, I ponder them in my heart, and then, in love, I share my understandings with you, who may also reflect and ponder, by the grace of God.

Isn’t that personal enough?

And, so, here’s this…

A Winter’s worth of snow is melting away, for nothing living and new can Spring from frozen soil. The white crystal kingdom is becoming the watery realm of rivulets and streams. Everywhere beneath the sky is the slow, relentless drip, drip, drip of conversion, while the sky itself is breathing briskly with blue and white and winged things.

The living Earth is warming, waking, the dormant things of snow and ice are dissipating and, as they flow, are expiating anything dead they left behind. Green spears will pierce the softened ground and, soon, the crocus chalices are found among the fading remnants of the shroud. Where once the bare outlines of black and white was all that slept within the hush, there now will come the tender blush, the violet flush, the yellow rush of blossoms raised as from the tomb. Loose tendrils of azalea hair, the fruitful blooms of apple, pear, yawning, stretching open wide the ferns and flowers everywhere.

crocus in snow

Oh wait beneath the weight of secret rest and see the coming of the Morning Fair, to which the universe and all attest, the time perpetual and rare, the Loving Heart at nature’s breast, Who put the will to thrive in there – Oh Beauty, ever ancient, ever new! [1]

The reflection of this… there is nothing more personal.

© 2015 Christina Chase


[1] St. Augustine, Confessions: “Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient and ever new! Late have I loved you! And, behold, you are within me, and I out of myself, and there I searched for you.”