infinite through finite

In tribulation immediately draw near to God with confidence, and you will receive strength,
enlightenment, and instruction.”

St. John of the Cross

“From the natural point of view, we come to know God from the vestiges of Himself that
He has left in the splendors of the visible universe:
the blazing red sunset, the snow-covered mountain peaks, the graceful flight of a bird,
the breathtakingly magnificent complexity of a single living cell.
On a still more exalted level, we know Him in the loveliness of the saints–
but it remains a knowledge of the infinite through the finite.”
Fr. Thomas Dubay, p.188-89
An Excerpt From
Fire Within

infinitely more than yourself

True, He is infinite Majesty, but He is also infinite Goodness and infinite Love.
There can be no greater Lord than God;
neither can there be a more ardent lover than He.

Saint Alphonsus Maria de’ Liguori

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(a January Georgia morning sky / Julie Cook /2017)

“It is only the infinite mercy and love of God that has prevented us from
tearing ourselves to pieces and destroying His entire creation long ago.
People seem to think that it is in some way a proof that no merciful God exists,
if we have so many wars.
On the contrary,
consider how in spite of centuries of sin and greed and lust and cruelty and hatred
and avarice and oppression and injustice,
spawned and bred by the free wills of men,
the human race can still recover, each time,
and can still produce man and women who overcome evil with good, hatred with love,
greed with charity, lust and cruelty with sanctity.
How could all this be possible without the merciful love of God, pouring out His grace upon us?
Can there be any doubt where wars come from and where peace comes from,
when the children of this world, excluding God from their peace conferences,
only manage to bring about greater and greater wars the more they talk about peace?”

Thomas Merton

“In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself.
Unless you know God as that—and, therefore,
know yourself as nothing in comparison—
you do not know God at all. ”

C.S. Lewis

No bounds

“When we say God is infinite we mean that He knows no bounds”
A.W. Tozer

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(Off the coast of the Dingle Peninsula, Ring of Kerry, County Kerry, Ireland / Julie Cook /
2015)

Grace…
Boundlessness
Endless
Without ceasing
No limits
Beyond
Ad infinitum

Love
Forgiveness
Healing
Hope
I AM…

“Where sin abounded grace did much more abound.”
Abounding sin is the terror of the world, but abounding grace is the hope of mankind. However sin may abound it still has its limit, for it is the product of finite minds and hearts; but God’s “much more” introduces us to infinitude. Against our deep creature-sickness stand God’s infinite ability to cure.

A.W. Tozer

Beyond

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.
Voltaire

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(the changing glimpse of beyond before the storm / Julie Cook / 2015)

It’s all beyond us really. . .
As in elsewhere
As in bigger, greater, grander
As in far away and much more than ourselves.

What of this place, Beyond?
That which is beyond the trees,
The clouds,
The sky. . .

What is this that is Beyond?

Is it what is there and simply not here?
That which is further rather than closer
That which is big not small?

Those whose sights remain small and inward
may never know the vast richness of Beyond.
Those whose heads are fixed ever downward,
Whose worlds are stationary and static,
Will not know Beyond

Beyond is more. . .
There is endlessness in Beyond

Humankind is not endless, we rather, are finite
As in consisting of a beginning and an ending
As in small and limited
For even our time is limited, as well as unknown

What of this Beyond?
Where does it start?
Where does it end?

One must look upward,
Outward,
Forward. . .

For Beyond is certainly in front, not behind
Beyond is not beneath nor under

Beyond is beyond touch,
Reach
Comprehension

Beyond is not of this time,
Your time or mine.
It goes much further than time
Much further than past or present
It is actually closer to future.

Beyond is beyond what is known
Beyond is beyond this place,
this space,
this dimension

Beyond is. . .simply. . .

Beyond

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

Surprise Guests

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(photograph: Julie Cook/2013)

“Nature is the art of God.”
Dante Alighieri

Whenever I work in the yard, tend to the garden or have an opportunity of being out in the woods, there are no limits to the sights and sounds that so often bring me a sense of Divine Joy. I don’t know how anyone can stand outside, in the middle of “nature”, be it woods, ocean, mountains, field, garden–large or small, and definitely proclaim there is no Creator.

I have stood at the base of massive jagged mountains, ominous clouds capping the space above my head, as an angry, churning, black sea roared at my back–all the while feeling suddenly finite and small. I have stood waste high in brush, scanning the field for the infamous resident grizzles that called the very place I stood, home–all the while knowing that I was suddenly back in the food chain… and not necessarily on the top of that chain. I have paddled lazily on an inflatable raft on a turquoise clear sea, only to spy an ominous fin rise silently up then silently down right besides me– knowing all the while that I remained untouched, on my raft, not by my own accord.

It is at these certain moments when I, as the egocentric all powerful human, find myself knocked off my pedestal of arrogance, left but to quickly discover that I am merely a small piece of this place we call earth. We do not control this place, even though we so smugly think differently… it, in the end, will indeed control us.

It is at these moments, the moments of fierce and unpredictable adventures out of doors, when I know I am less and there is indeed More….yet there does not necessarily need to be extreme conditions or moments of fear for me to experience the often elusive glimpse of Divine Wonder—I can do so when I water a container of flowers or even clean out the garage….just as I did the other day and found a surprise guest hiding in a corner.

Mr. Toad had obviously wandered in our garage thinking he could or should hide-out behind the trash bin. I thought it best that he should be returned to the yard–as I gently scooped him up, depositing him near the plants in the garden. I would think the food “pickings” of a better variety and much more tasty in the yard verses the garage.

Even when I have the chance meeting with a toad, I am beautifully reminded that there is a Creator whose handiwork is constantly all around me. I am most thankful for these brief surprise encounters with nature, particularly when they are most unexpected,—these moments draw me out of my finite world, allowing me to see, sense, feel and touch the infinite Wonders which surround and thankfully engulf me.

I hope you have such opportunities on this Monday morning in June. What Wonders will you discover today?