Appleton, WI

July 13: Day by Day with Father Bill


from Father Henri Nouwen’s Clowning in Rome

All nature conceals its great secrets and cannot reveal its hidden wisdom and profound beauty if we do not listen carefully and patiently. [Saint] John Henry [Cardinal] Newman sees nature as a veil through which an invisible world is intimated. He writes: The visible world is … the veil of the world invisible … so that all that exists or happens visibly, conceals and yet suggests, and above all subserves, a system of persons, facts, and events beyond itself. How differently we would live if we were constantly aware of this veil and sensed in our whole being how nature is ever ready for us to hear and see the great story of the Creator’s love to which it points. The plants and animals with whom we live teach us about birth, growth, maturation, and death, about the need for gentle care, and especially about the importance of patience and hope… It is sad that in our days we are less connected with nature and we no longer allow nature to minister to us. We so easily limit ministry to work for people by people. But we could do an immense service to our world if we would let nature heal, counsel, and teach again. I often wonder if the sheer artificiality and ugliness with which many people are surrounded are not as bad as or worse than their interpersonal problems.