Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Clark

6/18/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Being in God's country is an opportunity to be closer to Him.

Having recently returned from a cruise to Alaska celebrating my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary, I remembered a friend who had remarked that I would be amazed because I was taking a trip to God's country. I've heard those two words before. As a child, my uncle would say the same words when he was heading into the mountains of Utah on a hunting trip. My local friends here in Denver say the same thing when they head into the Rocky Mountains. I could site more examples, but you get the picture. 

Alaska, is this God's Country?

Alaska, is this God's Country?

Highlights

By Michael Clark

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/18/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Blog

Keywords: God, creation, beauty, majesty, mountains, rockies, Alaska,


DENVER, CO - The question is, why do people say this? What is God's country? Usually it's said when someone is escaping the hustle and bustle of the big city and moving away from the noise that surrounds our daily lives. We leave the concrete jungle and move into nature, trading skyscrapers and freeways for mountains or forests. We trade the work of human hands for the handiwork of our Creator. We seek God in His glory through what He created. Why do we do this? It's part of who we are as a creation of God. How do we know this?

It's in the first part of the 
Catechism, 'The world: starting from movement, contingency, and the world's order an beauty, one can come to a knowledge of God as the origin and the end of the universe.'

Pray the Rosary and give thanks to God

The first time I ever read those words, I was siting on a stone jetty 
that protruded out into the Gulf of Mexico. Surrounded by the crashing waves, looking at the white puffy clouds against the blue sky and the sun radiating above, I knew that I was sitting in a perfect place to experience Him. While there exists many ways to seek God, nature remains an awesome way to do so. Can we find Him in what man has made? Of course. 
Throughout the centuries mankind has been prolific in creating 
works of art and architecture, both religious and secular. We marvel at the skill it took to build the Pyramids in Egypt, the first Christian
cathedral in Constantinople, the Hagia Sophia, or any number of icons or paintings of Jesus or the saints. No visit to Paris is complete without seeing the Mona Lisa. However, taking the time to experience God's country is an opportunity to be closer to Him. 

The Catechism continues 
by quoting St. Paul: 

'Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his 
eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.' 

Seeing His majesty displayed in Alaska was an experience I will not 
forget. Acting as His finger, you can still the massive glaciers that carved the fjords. If you get close enough the cracking ice thunders through the air. Mountains line the coasts as waterfalls deposit melting snow back into the ocean.

Perhaps it is different for each person, but 
for me, being surrounded by God's handiwork gives me an appreciation for the impressiveness of His Creation. It allows me to look around and open my heart to Him and know that everything around me was not an accident or just happened to come into being. The world had a creator who authored what we see around us. The beauty we find in the mountains,
forests, flowers or whatever landscape you happen too be in are there for us to experience the Divine. It's an elegant proof that we are not alone, and He is inviting us into His presence and glory.

Do you have to go to Alaska to experience this? No, but it was a great trip. What I find amusing is that the US Forest Service is running radio ads across the country attempting to entice teens to visit andexperience the wonders of the forest in hopes of creating lifelong nature lovers.

Please don't tell Forest Service that what they are 
really doing is inviting teens into God's backyard.

Peace!

Light a Virtual Candle and say a heartfelt prayer

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Blog

The Secret Of My Heart (And Maybe Yours Too) Watch

Image of

By Jackie Stammen

Living deep in the recesses of my heart, there's a secret I've been keeping. I confess I've been way too proud to admit my secret for years. Too proud because admitting it out loud seems scary. Too proud because I fear how I will be perceived. Too proud because I don't ... continue reading


Live Authentically Watch

Image of

By Jackie Stammen

Matthew 23. NASHVILLE, TN - It's funny how life leads me to interpret things that I read differently at different times. I can read something once and glean from it something entirely different than I did a year ago reading the exact same thing. Today I read Matthew 23 ... continue reading


Hello Gorgeous Watch

Image of

By Jackie Stammen

Once upon a time I enjoyed shopping, like really enjoyed it. Perhaps because I grew up an hour from the nearest 'real' mall so it wasn't too often I would go within a year. My younger years were in a time before online shopping so that wasn't even an option. In middle ... continue reading


The Power of Making People Feel Welcome Watch

Image of

By Jackie Stammen

One of the greatest things you can do for someone is to make them feel welcome. NASHVILLE, TN - A map dot. That's where I grew up. A tiny map dot in the great state of Ohio. Approximate population: 2,500. My hometown of St. Henry, OH is so small it's technically not ... continue reading


Mary My Mother - Be At my Side Watch

Image of

By Michael Seagriff

The great value of retreats is that the guidance and insight gained during those intense times of prayer and silence never stop giving. Every time I re-read my notes from past retreats I gain additional direction and encouragement. Let me share an example of what I ... continue reading


Never Stop Seeking Watch

Image of

By Jackie Stammen

"Seek. The finding is not our job. Just seek and you will find." ~Father Kevin McGoldrick NASHVILLE, TN - Let your heart be led by the seeking. You don't have to know the outcome, you don't have to see the whole pathway, all you have to do is take the first step. It's ... continue reading


Happy New Year Resolutions! Watch

Image of

By Shelly A. Schneider

Did you make them? Have you already fallen off that proverbial wagon? I bet you at least gave the resolution thing some thought, especially after all that candy, turkey, mashed potatoes, ham, more mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, etc. In 2016, my resolutions are more ... continue reading


What To Do With Your Hearts, Works, Joys and Sorrows Each Day Watch

Image of

By Michael Seagriff

What a treasure trove of wisdom and spiritual insight our Church has accumulated over the centuries! The problem is that there are so many jewels, we forget what and where they are. CANASTOTA, NY - How fortunate I was to stumble upon this gem - this Advice to ... continue reading


Love Has Come Watch

Image of

By Norm LeDonne

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (Jn 1:1) "And the Word became flesh..." (Jn 1:14) "...God is love." (1 Jn 4:8)What do these versus have in common, and what do they have to do with the Matt Maher song Love Has Come? ... continue reading


The Look Watch

Image of

By Shelly A. Schneider

My husband, Jim, and I recently celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. I hope if you're married that you're still able to look at your husband or wife with love. I hope that time has not diminished, but enhanced, the love you feel for your spouse. And I hope you ... continue reading


All Blog News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • St. Scholastica: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 10, 2016
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, February 10, 2016
  • Take this thought provoking Stations of the Cross survey
  • Stations of the Cross - Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother HD Video
  • 10 important things to consider during Lent
  • Palm Sunday HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 2:12-18
12 'But now -- declares Yahweh- come back to me with all your heart, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
1 'Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract ... Read More

Reading 2, Second Corinthians 5:20--6:2
20 So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were urging you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 10th, 2016 Image

St. Scholastica
February 10: St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, ... Read More