Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Five Ways to Pray Always: Part 3, Seeing Through God’s Eyes



[click here to view part two of this seven part series]

sunset_webSeeing Through God's Eyes

The essence of contemplation is seeing all of creation through God's eyes. We've all had contemplative experiences, but perhaps we didn't know it was contemplation. Watching the slow, multicolored sunset with simple, childlike awe to the point where we simply become engulfed by the red-orange horizon: This is contemplative seeing. We are told in the Genesis story of creation (Genesis 1) that after marvelous acts of creative artistry, "God saw how good it was." Contemplative people see all of the universe with the compassionate, delight-full eyes of God.

This contemplative seeing, however, requires training and hard work. We tend to zip through life so quickly these days that we fail to notice the dandelion that has pushed its way up through the hot pavement or the lovely but pained eyes of the young mother in front of us in the grocery store checkout line.

Luke's Gospel says that when the prodigal son neared the last bend before reaching his home, ready to weep in repentance at his father's feet: "his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him." The father saw the son with the eyes of God, making possible his response of mercy and compassion (see Luke 15:11-32).

Our eyes are open most of the day, but do we really see the world's truth as God sees it? Is not racism rooted in our blindness to see the beauty of all people having been created in God's likeness? What a different world it would be if government and big business recognized the oceans, rivers and rain forests of our earth as the beloved garden of God--and not just as a means to turn a profit.

God is inviting us to slow down, stop and look, notice the details, the surprises, the unexpected. Before raking up the autumn leaves with a humdrum sense of boredom, why not stand in awe and watch the bright yellow leaf dive off its towering limb and dance its way to death? We, too, like God, will see that all is good.

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"Reprinted from' Five Ways to Pray', St. Anthony Messenger, copyright 2008. Used by permission of St. Anthony Messenger Press, 28 W. Liberty St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 800-488-0488. All rights reserved."


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