The Garden of God

Garden of the Gods

There is a quote attributed to St. Augustine which says, “The nature of God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” Whether that is an accurate attribution or not, the quote itself is quite astounding. The BC says it more pithily though:

Q. 166. Where is God?

A. God is everywhere.

Driving through the Shawnee National Forest yesterday on assignment to take photographs, I hiked to the best spot on the forest to see fall colors. There on the rock overlooking the world was a vista alive with all the colors of autumn, the beauty of God’s creation.

Afterward, as I made my way back to the Ranger Station, a thought came out of nowhere: God was present to me always: Just a simple thought, which did not insist upon itself too much, but which had the force behind it like an earthquake.

As little town and little hill and field passed by out my window, I looked out with that simple thought in mind. If God is everywhere, all things are present to God, all things, that is, are within His compass and control. Nothing happens unless He says so, not a single sunbeam streams through a cloud without His say so. That is a mystical thought.

Anyway, as I drove with these thoughts and questions in mind, another question passed through my consciousness: “What would you have me see,” to which God–He is the Eternal Jester–presented to my physical vision not a split second later the road sign named, quite literally, Catholic Church Rd.

Not a moment after that, I noticed St. Joseph Catholic Church just off the road. Now, I could have interpreted that thought and scene as signs that I should back to Church, return to a parish near me, and be a Novus Ordo Catholic again. I could have, but then I must understand the hierarchy of information. I have demonstrable evidence from the BC–the Rule of Faith–that the present Roman church is a false sect. I know that with certainty. So the very special vision I had yesterday could not have been mystical evidence in favor of a return to the Novus Ordo.

So what was the vision? I am thinking aloud here, but I think it was the affirmation that the simple thought with which I began was true, and that God was substantiating it by direct experiential evidence. God was revealing Himself a bit. There was a moment of time in which I could peak through the veil thinly concealing His awesome reality. I have had such experiences before, what I think Thomas A. Kempis calls the Divine Visitation. They are gifts, and I surely did not deserve such a visit.

“God is everywhere,” the BC teaches us. What do we make of that from day to day? How do we behave, what do we think, with that earthquaking thought? These are thoughts to ponder. A profound joy follows the Divine Visitation, which gives proofs of its origin. I encourage you all to give the BC lesson on God’s immanent locality time for thinking on it.

Whoever named the gem of the Shawnee had it all wrong. The better name would have been, The Garden of God, but then that name would have applied to everywhere.