The immensity of God


Our relationship with nature, whether as individuals, organisations or nations, is ever more the focus of attention. We have a duty to protect the environment and repair the damage already done. The pandemic we are currently experiencing has highlighted this duty of ours and also given the natural world some breathing space. Chiara Lubich’s spiritual experience leads us to the One who is at the root of all things: God.

…    While taking a short break, I watched a documentary on nature. Unlike some other TV programmes, that film had a great effect on my soul.

Contemplating the immensity of the universe, the extraordinary beauty and power of nature, my mind rose spontaneously to the Creator of it all, giving me a new understanding of the immensity of God. It made such a new and strong impression on me that I felt like falling on my knees to adore, praise, and glorify God. I felt a need to do that, as though it were my vocation in that moment.

It was as if my eyes had been opened, to understand as never before who it is that we have chosen as our ideal; or rather, who has chosen us. I saw God as so great and so immense that it seemed impossible he should think of us. This impression of God’s immensity stayed with me for several days. Now, when I pray, “Hallowed be thy name,” or “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,” it’s different for me: it has become a need of the heart. …

We are all on a journey. When people are travelling, they are already thinking of the place they will be in on their arrival and getting ready to be in that environment or that city.

We need to do the same.

Up there in heaven will we be praising God?

Then let’s start praising him right now. Let our hearts cry out with all our love to God and proclaim him, with the angels and saints: … “Holy, holy, holy.” Let our heart and our lips tell his praises.

Let’s take the opportunity to revive some of our daily prayers which have this purpose. Let’s give God glory also with our whole being.

We know that the more we empty ourselves (imitating Jesus Forsaken who made himself nothing) the more our lives cry out that God is everything, and in this way we praise him, glorify him and adore him.

When we do this, our “old self” dies and out of its death the “new self” comes to life, the new creation.

During the day let’s be on the lookout for many opportunities to adore God and praise him. Let’s do it during our meditation [or other prayer times]. …Let us praise him beyond nature or in the depths of our hearts. Above all, let’s live dead to ourselves and alive to the will of God, to love of neighbour.

May we too, as Elizabeth of the Trinity used to say, be “praise of his glory.” In this way we shall have a foretaste of Heaven and make up for the indifference to God in so many hearts living in the world today.

Chiara Lubich

(Form a telephone conference call, Rocca di Papa, 22nd January 1987)

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