Season of Creation with Francis (Days 7-9)
September 07, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

September 7

In the year that King Uzziah died, I [Isaiah] saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’ Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.’ (Isaiah 6:1-7)


.... Our mind has three principal aspects. The first aspect deals with the physical, and this is referred to as the animal or the sensory. The second aspect looks within the self and into the self, and this is referred to as the spirit. The third aspect is superior to the self, and this is referred to as the mind. From the point of view of all of these aspects, our mind should completely immerse itself within God and delight in Him, with its entire mind, heart and soul, which activity constitutes simultaneously both Christian wisdom and a perfect observance of the Law.   Since these aspects already mentioned come in pairs - as when one considers God  to be the alpha and the omega; or else sees God in one of these aspects either through a mirror or in a mirror; or else, given that one of a pair can be seen mixed up with the other, it must therefore also be seen in its own pure form - so it is necessary that these three principal steps work themselves out as a group of six. God created the macrocosm in six days and rested on the seventh and, through six stages of enlightenment, the microcosm is lead, in a most consequent way, into the stillness of contemplation. Among the symbolic treatments of this are the six steps which lead upwards to the throne of Solomon, the six-winged Seraph seen by Isaiah, the six days after which God called upon Moses from a cloud, and the six days after which, according to Matthew, Christ led the disciples onto the mountain and was transfigured  before them. So, alongside the six levels of ascension into God, there are six levels of the soul's potential, through which we climb from the depths to the heights and from those things which are external to those which are internal, through which we move together from the temporal to the eternal: these are perception, imagination, reason, intellect, intelligence and the mind's highest point, at which the spark of conscient action catches hold. We have these levels placed naturally within us, they are deformed by error, reformed by grace, purified by what is just, developed through experience and perfected by wisdom. (Journey 1:4-6)
Duo Seraphim clamabant alter ad alterum:
Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth:
Plena est omnis terra gloria eius.
Tres sunt qui testimonium dant in coelo:
Pater, Verbum, et Spiritus Sanctus:
Et hi  tres unum sunt.
Two angels called to one another 
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Sabaoth!
The earth is full of your glory.
There are three who give testimony in heaven,
Father, Word, and Holy Spirit,
and these Three are One.
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord god of Sabaoth!
The earth is full of your glory.


September 8

May God grant me to speak with judgement,
and to have thoughts worthy of what I have received;
for he is the guide even of wisdom
and the corrector of the wise. 
 For both we and our words are in his hand,
as are all understanding and skill in crafts. 
 For it is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists,
to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements; 
 the beginning and end and middle of times,
the alternations of the solstices and the changes of the seasons, 
 the cycles of the year and the constellations of the stars, 
 the natures of animals and the tempers of wild animals,
the powers of spirits* and the thoughts of human beings,
the varieties of plants and the virtues of roots; 
 I learned both what is secret and what is manifest, 
 for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me. (Wisdom 7:15-22)
The creation accounts in the book of Genesis contain, in their own symbolic and narrative language, profound teachings about human existence and its historical reality. They suggest that human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbour and with the earth itself. According to the Bible, these three vital relationships have been broken, both outwardly and within us. This rupture is sin. The harmony between the Creator, humanity and creation as a whole was disrupted by our presuming to take the place of God and refusing to acknowledge our creaturely limitations. This in turn distorted our mandate to “have dominion” over the earth (cf. Gen 1:28), to “till it and keep it” (Gen 2:15). As a result, the originally harmonious relationship between human beings and nature became conflictual (cf. Gen 3:17-19). It is significant that the harmony which Saint Francis of Assisi experienced with all creatures was seen as a healing of that rupture. Saint Bonaventure held that, through universal reconciliation with every creature, Saint Francis in some way returned to the state of original innocence. This is a far cry from our situation today, where sin is manifest in all its destructive power in wars, the various forms of violence and abuse, the abandonment of the most vulnerable, and attacks on nature.
Yet God, who wishes to work with us and who counts on our cooperation, can also bring good out of the evil we have done. “The Holy Spirit can be said to possess an infinite creativity, proper to the divine mind, which knows how to loosen the knots of human affairs, including the most complex and inscrutable”. Creating a world in need of development, God in some way sought to limit himself in such a way that many of the things we think of as evils, dangers or sources of suffering, are in reality part of the pains of childbirth which he uses to draw us into the act of cooperation with the Creator. God is intimately present to each being, without impinging on the autonomy of his creature, and this gives rise to the rightful autonomy of earthly affairs. His divine presence, which ensures the subsistence and growth of each being, “continues the work of creation”. The Spirit of God has filled the universe with possibilities and therefore, from the very heart of things, something new can always emerge: “Nature is nothing other than a certain kind of art, namely God’s art, impressed upon things, whereby those things are moved to a determinate end. It is as if a shipbuilder were able to give timbers the wherewithal to move themselves to take the form of a ship”. 
The universe as a whole, in all its manifold relationships, shows forth the inexhaustible riches of God. Saint Thomas Aquinas wisely noted that multiplicity and variety “come from the intention of the first agent” who willed that “what was wanting to one in the representation of the divine goodness might be supplied by another”, inasmuch as God’s goodness “could not be represented fittingly by any one creature”. Hence we need to grasp the variety of things in their multiple relationships. We understand better the importance and meaning of each creature if we contemplate it within the entirety of God’s plan. As the Catechism teaches: “God wills the interdependence of creatures. The sun and the moon, the cedar and the little flower, the eagle and the sparrow: the spectacle of their countless diversities and inequalities tells us that no creature is self-sufficient. Creatures exist only in dependence on each other, to complete each other, in the service of each other”. (LS 2:66,80,86)
Hymn (Mrs. C. F. Alexander, 1818-95) 
All things bright and beautiful, 
All creatures great and small, 
All things wise and wonderful, 
The Lord God made them all. 
Each little flower that opens, 
Each little bird that sings, 
He made their glowing colours, 
He made their tiny wings. 
The purple-headed mountain, 
The river running by, 
The sunset and the morning, 
That brightens up the sky; 
The cold wind in the winter, 
The pleasant summer sun, 
The ripe fruits in the garden – 
He made them every one. 
He gave us eyes to see them, 
And lips that we might tell 
How great is God Almighty, 
Who has made all things well. 
September 9


God is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’ When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,
‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
   nor the human heart conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love him’— 
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual. (1 Corinthians 1:30-2:1-12)


Now at the point of creation, man was made for the stillness of contemplation and, for that reason, God placed him in a paradise of delights. But, by turning away from the true light towards relative good, he was bent down under the weight of his own error, and his whole line under the weight of this basic error, which infects humanity in two ways - that is, by mental ignorance and by physical desire. In this way, man is utterly blind and sits, bent over, in the darkness, not seeing the light of Heaven unless grace cares for him, offering him justice to counteract his desire and both experience and wisdom to counteract his ignorance. This is done in its entirety by Jesus Christ, who has been made by God to be our wisdom and justice and sanctification and our redemption. While he is the virtue of God and the wisdom of God, and while he is the Word incarnate and full of grace and truth, he has made grace and truth. That is to say, he has instilled the grace of love, which, because it comes from a pure heart and from good conscience and from genuine faith, is able to rectify the entire soul according to the three visions previously described. He has taught the experience of truth according to the three aspects of theology - the symbolic, the literal and the mystical - so that, through the symbolic, we might rightly use our perception, through the literal, we might rightly use our intelligence and, through the mystical, we might reach the state beyond mental activity and there be enraptured.  It is therefore necessary that whoever wants to ascend into God must, by avoiding error, which deforms one's nature, exercise their natural powers, which were described above. Thus, through our prayer we reconstitute our grace, through our behavior we truly purify ourselves, through our meditation we develop our enlightened experience, and through our contemplation we perfect our wisdom. Just as no one comes to wisdom except through grace, truth and experience, so no-one comes to contemplation except through analytical meditation, pure behavior and devout prayer. Just as grace is the basis of the correct attitude of the will and of the clarity of analytical reasoning, so we should first pray, then live in purity and then, gradually understanding the true appearance of things, ascend the levels of understanding, arriving finally on the exalted mountain, where we see the God of gods in Sion. (Journey 1:7-8) 
Musical Selection
I prayed and pleaded, and the Lord 
Gave prudence unto me;
With Wisdom’s spirit, God endowed
My heart, and set me free.
All gold, in view of her, is sand,
And silver, only mire;
For wisdom’s worth is more than gems,
Or gold that’s tried in fire.
The call of Christ is wisdom’s call:
To hear the Word and live
In knowledge of this precious grace
Which God will freely give.
How wealth can block the path to God!
Cast all that blocks the way
Aside, and give God center place,
You children of the day!
God’s Word, alive and of effect,
Is sharp as two-edged sword,
Dividing, penetrating us
With grace from God adored!
Since nothing is concealed from God,
And we account must give,
Thus let us cling to Christ alone,
And in his mercy live!