“Look at the animals roaming the forest: God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the birds flying across the sky: God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the tiny insects crawling in the grass: God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the fish in the river and sea: God’s spirit dwells within them. There is no creature on earth in whom God is absent . . . When God pronounced that his creation was good, it was not only that his hand had fashioned every creature; it was that his breath had brought every creature to life. Look too at the great trees of the forest; look at the wild flowers and the grass in the fields; look even at your crops. God’s spirit is present within all plants as well. The presence of God’s spirit in all living things is what makes them beautiful; and if we look with God’s eyes, nothing on earth is ugly.”
6th century Celtic monk
Pelagius, in disputing Augustine’s view that humans are by nature corrupted since the Fall, held that our nature and God's becoming flesh have already given us all the grace we need. (Augustine believed that after the Fall, “grace” now has to be added from the outside to “nature” in order to activate that nature, like a key in a lock). Pelagius understood that, in our very creation, we are given a “grace of power.” He, like other Celts, was used to seeing God’s natural grace in the running, flying, leaping, speech, etc., of a multitude of creatures. He envisions Christ as a reminder, a rekindler of the sacred flame, who touches a chord deep in the heart and reaffirms that the potential for being “without sin”; that is, fully human - is always there.
Photo: Ladybug and Spring Beauty flowers, Lory State Park, CO
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.