As three of us (Carrie, John Paul and I) walked up the trail to Anna Ruby Falls I could not help but think of my son Kevin. Almost every time we are out in the woods he says,”God made nature, and I like it.” Kevin, at the tender age of nine, recognizes God imprinted his law on us through natural law. He “gets it” better than most of us much older folks. I just wish the politicians would go back and read the Declaration of Independence, and learn the founders state all laws must conform to natural law (or nature’s God) to be just.
Many people today, afraid to be labeled religious or tied to a group, call themselves “spiritual.” They find their way on their own through the forrest of life. If they are attentive to natural law, and heed it, they have great potential to make good choices in their moral lives. The problem with just finding your “own way” though the forrest, is your experiences are very narrow. So the chance for misinterpreting a sign is higher than if you had advice on reading the signs as you approach a rattlesnake habitat. If you stumble and the snake strikes, no one will be there to hear your cry. There is also nothing supernatural to sustain your body and soul in this earthly journey if you go it alone.
In this photo I purposefully left the trail in the shot. I did this because as I thought of Kevin’s statement, I was also thinking of the peace which comes from growing ever more into a Catholic life. The trail stood out in my viewfinder. With each glance I found a reminder of how God also gave us so much more than natural law. He gave us a path of safety through the dangerous forrest of life, and a means to walk it. All we need to do is use the path and his grace to avoid the greatest dangers of the forrest.
I revel in the knowledge I do not have to be Solomon, Thomas Aquinas, Teresa of Avila or John Paul II to survive in the forrest. I just have to turn to the collective wisdom imparted over almost 6,000 years through revelation and illumination of God’s laws to my church and the world! Being the thinker I am, I fall more in love with the Catholic magisterium as each new lesson clicks into place like custom made Lego blocks in a slick design. I know this magisterium is stronger than the efforts of fallible men who may try to twist it to their own political designs.
Not only do we Catholics have the lessons, but we can receive supernatural graces pouring forth from sacraments. God cleanses in baptism, restores with mercy in confession, nourishes at communion, sanctifies matrimony and holy orders, and comforts in anointing of the sick. So not only do I get a path to follow, but a complete pit crew as well for my life journey using supernatural grace. This allows God to be with me in every place, in my body, and in my most important earthly relationships.
So God’s path through the forrest is the one I chose. I pray after reflection, you may chose to investigate the strongest and safest path through the woods to heaven.