There are many things in this world that can point our hearts to God, but one of the most effective means of leading a person to God is through the beauty of his creation.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes this particular way of coming to know God.
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.
And St. Augustine issues this challenge: “Question the beauty of the earth, question the beauty of the sea, question the beauty of the air distending and diffusing itself, question the beauty of the sky … question all these realities. All respond: “See, we are beautiful.” Their beauty is a profession [confessio]. These beauties are subject to change. Who made them if not the Beautiful One [Pulcher] who is not subject to change?”
The beauty of creation is seen in the eyes of faith as a “profession” of the existence of God, of the One who created all the beauty that we see.
This is further explored in the Vatican document, The ViaPulchritudinis.
[F]rom the contemplation of the countryside at the setting of the sun, or snow-capped mountain summits under a starry sky, or fields covered with light-drenched flowers, or the varieties of plants and animals, there is born a palette of sentiments that invite us to read within (intus-legere), to pass from the visible to reach the invisible and give an answer to the question, “who is this Artisan with such powerful imagination at the origin of so much beauty and grandeur, such profusion of beings in the sky and on the earth?”
Not only does the beauty of the natural world lead us to God, it also establishes peace in our soul and encourages us to act virtuously.
[T]he contemplation of the beauties of creation causes an interior peace and sharpens the sense of harmony and the desire for a beautiful life. With religious man, astonishment and admiration transform themselves into attitudes that are interior and spiritual: adoration, praise and thanksgiving to the Author of these beauties.
This is why it is beneficial to surround ourselves with natural beauty and to seek out those breath-taking places that God has created.
Furthermore, the recognition of this beauty will also create in us a desire to protect creation, doing all that we can to be a good steward of the environment.
God has given us a beautiful world to be in, and it is up to us to protect it for years to come so that others may grow deeper in their relationship with the Creator.
What the saints say about respect for the environment
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