Go into nature and pray (Fr Ljubo Kurtović, OFM)

Our Lady, as the true Mother of the Church, walks with us not only in liturgical season but also in the season of nature in which we are enthroned and in which we live. Everything around us blooms and grows. Nature takes up her green color. It has awakened from its winter sleep and a new life is growing.

In her previous messages, Our Lady, also, called us and said, “ Dear children! I invite you now to be open to God. See, children, how nature is opening herself and is giving life and fruits. In the same way I invite you to live with God and to surrender completely to him. (May 25,1989)

 “Dear children!… Go into nature and look how nature is awakening and it will be a help to you to open your hearts to the love of God, the Creator. (April 25, 1993). “Dear children! Today I invite you to go into nature because there you will meet God the Creator. (October 25, 1995). „Dear children!… Find peace in nature and you will discover God the Creator Whom you will be able to give thanks to for all creatures; then you will find joy in your heart. (July 25, 2001).

Nature is a great book that speaks of God the Creator. We, as humans, are inseparably connected to nature. Our body is made up of the elements of nature to which God has put His laws, order and harmony.

  A walk in the nature calms a person down, fills our imagination with new images and colors, our eyes admire the colors and beauty of nature, with our ears we listen to new sounds around us, and we feel to be in our natural environment. Nature encourages us to prayer and thanksgiving. Man cannot survive outside of nature. Nature brings us back to ourselves. Going to nature means going to our natural environment, to our heart that seeks order, harmony and beauty that the Creator gives us.

Anyone who has experienced for a moment the language of nature, its beauty and silence, can see how most people today live outside their natural environment, outside their hearts. Most people live in overcrowded cities, ceaseless traffic jams and constant rush. People walk around with headphones in their ears, with their heads bowed down to take refuge from the outside noise that distracts and spiritually kills people.

Our Lady as mother invites us to open ourselves to the peace, beauty and silence of nature which the Creator has given us. She wants us to be healthy, peaceful, joyful and to love ourselves and everything that has been created around us.

We need to forget our mobile phones, social networks and headphones, at least for a while. God has no room to come to us and enrich us with His goodness, love, beauty and truth if we constantly listen to someone else’s thoughts. Then you stop being yourself. And you are unique.

Kierkegaard, the great Danish Christian philosopher of the 19th century, often spoke of silence. In one of the last things he ever wrote, he dealt with silence. He said, „If I were a physician and were allowed to prescribe only one remedy for all the illnesses of the modern world, I would prescribe silence. For even if the Word of God were to be proclaimed in the modern world, how could anyone hear it in such noise? Therefore, create silence.“

Find your place of silence so that you may know the Creator who holds you in His hand and who created everything for you because He loves you. Find at least 15 minutes, perhaps just when your body is telling you it is tired. It is a sign that your spirit has been left without food. The spirit carries your body. And how will it carry it if you don’t feed it?

  In order to explore nature, we need to go out, step out and not stay attached to ourselves. Nature reveals itself in silence and listening. Everything great happens in silence. The universe moves in silence. Plants, trees and grass grow in silence. Blood flows through our bodies in silence.

Nature has the miraculous yet mysterious power to free us from noise and bustle, to bathe our souls in silence, solitude and slowing down. It is impossible to pray without silence.

Nature also teaches us patience. Nature is not a movie. Life cannot be sped up. All has its time to sprout, to blossom, to bear fruit and to grow for years, even centuries. Nature is about waiting and patience.

Let us allow God to speak to us through His creation with which He has surrounded us and which He has endowed us.

Let us pray: Our Lady, our Mother, thank you for never ceasing to speak to us and to call us to experience God’s love which heals, liberates and saves our lives. You, who are full of grace, full of God’s love, who has guided us through all these years of your apparitions, do not cease to speak to us, to bring us back from the wrong paths that we have strayed onto. Through your motherly intercession, we ask that our hearts may be filled with the Holy Spirit, the power of which you yourself experienced in Nazareth at the Annunciation, as well as in Jerusalem when you prayed with the first Church. Mother of the Church, pray with us and for us that we too may experience the power and might of the Spirit of God who set the apostles free from fear, opened their hearts to be witnesses of the Risen Christ who gives new life. Amen.    

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