Season of Creation with Francis (Days 19-21)
September 19, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

September 19

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever. And he said to me, ‘These words are trustworthy and true, for the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.’ ‘See, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.’ I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow-servant with you and your comrades the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!’ (Revelation 22:1-8)

However, since concerning the mirror of perception, not only does it happen that God is contemplated through these things as through imprints, but also in these things to the extent that He is in them in essence, power and presence. This consideration is superior to what was just explained and so is held to be the second level of contemplation: by this we should be lead by the hand to contemplate all the created things which enter into our minds through physical perception.

You should note that this world, the macrocosm, enters into our soul, the microcosm, through the gates of the five senses, according to the apprehension, enjoyment and analysis of these things which are perceived. This is obvious, since some things are generating, other things are generated and still other things are controlling the former and the latter. The things which are generating are simple, they are the celestial bodies and the four elements. This is because whatever gets generated and produced from the elements, is produced and generated by the activity of natural power, due to the power of the light which unifies the differences which exist between the elements. 

The things which are generated, on the other hand, are bodies, composed from the elements, that is to say minerals, vegetables, sensible things and human bodies. The things which rule the former and the latter are spiritual substances, whether entirely conjoined such as animals or separably conjoined such as rational spirits or  else inseparably conjoined, such as the celestial spirits, which philosophers call Intelligences and which we refer to as Angels. Philosophers hold that it is they who move the celestial bodies and so to them is attributed the administration of the universe, taking up the influence of power from the First Cause, Which is God, which influence they pour out through their work of government and which follows the natural course of things. Theologians, moreover, attribute to these spirits the control over the universe, according to the power of the Supreme God, which deals with the work of reparation according to what are called the spirits of administration, sent because of those who are seizing the inheritance of salvation. (Journey 2:1-2)
Musical Selection (St. Hildegard of Bingen)
O gloriosissimi lux vivens angeli,
qui infra divinitatem
divinos oculos
cum mistica obscuritate
omnis creature aspicitis
in ardentibus desideriis,
unde numquam
potestis saciari:

O quam gloriosa
gaudia illa vestra
habet forma,
que in vobis est
intacta ab omni pravo opere,
quod primum ortum est
in vestro socio,
perdito angelo,
qui volare voluit
supra intus latens
pinnaculum Dei,
unde ipse tortuosus
dimersus est in ruinam,
sed ipsius instrumenta casus
consiliando facture
digiti Dei instituit. 
O living light, O angels glorious!
Below divinity,
upon the eyes divine you gaze
within the darkness mystical
of all creation—
in yearnings set alight
where you can ne’er
be quenched nor satiated:

How glorious too
are these, your joys
your form possesses—
that form that in your number
remains untouched by ev’ry wicked deed
that first arose
in your companion,
that now lost angel
who wished to fly
above, within the hidden
pinnacle of God—
then twisted, tortured, he
was plunged into his ruin.
But yet, his fall’s devices
by cunning plot he laid against the craft
of God’s creative finger.
September 20
Beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

A consumerist vision of human beings, encouraged by the mechanisms of today’s globalized economy, has a levelling effect on cultures, diminishing the immense variety which is the heritage of all humanity. Attempts to resolve all problems through uniform regulations or technical interventions can lead to overlooking the complexities of local problems which demand the active participation of all members of the community. New processes taking shape cannot always fit into frameworks imported from outside; they need to be based in the local culture itself. As life and the world are dynamic realities, so our care for the world must also be flexible and dynamic. Merely technical solutions run the risk of addressing symptoms and not the more serious underlying problems. There is a need to respect the rights of peoples and cultures, and to appreciate that the development of a social group presupposes an historical process which takes place within a cultural context and demands the constant and active involvement of local people from within their proper culture. Nor can the notion of the quality of life be imposed from without, for quality of life must be understood within the world of symbols and customs proper to each human group. 

Many intensive forms of environmental exploitation and degradation not only exhaust the resources which provide local communities with their livelihood, but also undo the social structures which, for a long time, shaped cultural identity and their sense of the meaning of life and community. The disappearance of a culture can be just as serious, or even more serious, than the disappearance of a species of plant or animal. The imposition of a dominant lifestyle linked to a single form of production can be just as harmful as the altering of ecosystems. (LS 4: 144,145)

Musical Selection
All people that on earth do dwell, Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice. Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell; Come ye before Him and rejoice. 
The Lord, ye know, is God indeed; Without our aid He did us make; We are His folk, He doth us feed, And for His sheep He doth us take. 
O enter then His gates with praise; Approach with joy His courts unto; Praise, laud, and bless His Name always, For it is seemly so to do. 
For why? the Lord our God is good; His mercy is for ever sure; His truth at all times firmly stood, And shall from age to age endure. 

To Father, Son and Holy Ghost, The God Whom Heaven and earth adore, From men and from the angel host Be praise and glory evermore.


September 21

Now when God fashioned human beings, he planted in them emotions and inclinations, but at the same time he enthroned the mind among the senses as a sacred governor over them all. To the mind he gave the law; and one who lives subject to this will rule a kingdom that is temperate, just, good, and courageous. How is it then, one might say, that if reason is master of the emotions, it does not control forgetfulness and ignorance? But this argument is entirely ridiculous; for it is evident that reason rules not over its own emotions, but over those of the body. No one of us can eradicate that kind of desire, but reason can provide a way for us not to be enslaved by desire. No one of us can eradicate anger from the mind, but reason can help to deal with anger. (4 Maccabees 2: 21-23; 3:1-3; Apocrypha) 

So a human, called the microcosm, has five senses, like five gates, through which enters into the soul the perception of all things. Through vision there enter sublime and luminous bodies and other colored things and through touch solid and earthly bodies; through the three intermediate senses enter the intermediate bodies - liquids through taste, auditory phenomena through hearing and vapors through smell. Vapors have about them something humid, something gaseous, something fiery or hot - which can be perceived from the smoke given off by incense. Through these gates there enter both simple bodies and their admixtures, in the form of composite bodies. Because, through our senses we perceive not only specifics such as light, sound, odor, taste and the four primary qualities which touch apprehends, but also general things such as number, magnitude, figure, stillness and movement. And, since "all things which move are moved by something else" and since certain things, such as animals, move and remain at rest under their own steam, at the same time as we are aware of the movement of bodies through the five senses, we are led by the hand towards acquaintance with spiritual movers, in the same way as an effect leads to an acquaintance with its causes. (Journey 2:3)
Musical Selection
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
Be all else but naught to me, save that thou art;
Be thou my best thought in the day and the night,
Both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,
Be thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord;
Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
Be thou my whole armor, be thou my true might;
Be thou my soul's shelter, be thou my strong tower:
O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise:
Be thou mine inheritance now and always;
Be thou and thou only the first in my heart;
O Sovereign of heaven, my treasure thou art.
High King of heaven, thou heaven's bright sun,
O grant me its joys after victory is won;
Great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be thou my vision, O Ruler of all.