‘This is how Scripture depicts to us the Supreme Artist, praising each one of His works. Thus earth, air, sky, water, day, night, all visible things, remind us of our Benefactor. We shall not therefore give occasion to sin, we shall not give any room to the Enemy within us, if by constant recollection we keep God ever dwelling in our hearts.’ – St. Basil the Great, Hexameron, 3.10
Saint Basil’s Hexameron is a brilliant collection of homilies delivered on the Book of Genesis and focusing primarily on the topic of creation. In the above passage St Basil reflects on the splendor and elegance of the Earth, moon, and stars as revealing the greatness of their Creator. One only needs to take a peek at the nature that surrounds us in order to be caught up in admiration of God’s beautiful handiwork. Every creature, every object and every landscape was crafted and formed by the hand of God.
I was lucky enough to share an experience with my wife which I hope to never forget. On a recent vacation to Santorini, in Greece, my wife and I booked a dinner at a restaurant nestled high up in the side of a mountain at the North end of the island. We were lucky to be seated at a table that had unobstructed views of the ocean, and we arrived just in time for sunset. We watched as the endless horizon slowly began to consume the soft sun. It appeared as though the boundless blue and turquoise waters were changing color, becoming pink, salmon and soft shades of red.
My wife and I were not expecting to be greeted with such a sight; we were both equally filled with a sense of awe, peace and wonder. This daily occurrence, like many others in nature, was a powerful display of beauty which can only be attributed to a Supreme Being.
Saint Basil encourages us to train our eyes to see the delightful display of God’s handiwork, even in the ordinary occurrences. Doing so will inevitably change our perception of the world around us, and fill our hearts with a sense of gratitude and praise for our almighty Creator. Such ceaseless contemplation on God leaves no room for evil to dwell within us and will divert our attention from the possible temptations surrounding us.