As we look around us in the cathedral of nature, we see so much beauty—the green trees, the blooming flowers of late summer, and the flowing water of our rivers and lakes. Where did they originate? Who designed them? How did they come to be here? Have we ever looked at a blade of grass in all its simplicity? Why has one flower five petals and another ten or even twenty or more? Why do roses have thorns and pansies do not? Trees come in so many different forms. Some have needles and others have leaves. Even the bark differs from one tree to another. Red pine trees have red on their bark while white pine trees have white on their cones. Think of all the varieties of maple, oak, elm, and birch trees. The difference between trees and shrubs, the varying age of trees in the woods—all mirror the creative and generous abilities of our God.
Your generosity, O God, is so great—surpassing anything I could possibly imagine. How did you put all this together in these few acres? Francis expressed his praise in his “Canticle of the Creatures.” Somehow, I can only say thanks and thanks again. Trying to express this beauty in a painting or in words seems so futile. I do not know how to paint the light coming off the water in sparkling diamonds or the subtle differences in the trees. How can I describe them so others can see? Photos can pick up some of the beauty but not all. It needs to be experienced. Thank you. Amen.
—from the book Eucharistic Adoration: Reflections in the Franciscan Tradition
by Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration