07 February 2007

St. Francis de Sales on Creation

And then God created . . . the pilgrim.

We have been reading the creation account in Genesis this week and the last two days, in particular, we have read the creation of man. In his own exegesis of the creation account (Genesis ch. 1 in particular), Saint Francis de Sales links the use of reason -- the distinguished wisdom -- of man to our status as pilgrims.
" . . . God has not only bestowed th[is favor of dominion] upon man, but He has also given him full power over all sorts of accidents and events . . . . by the use of reason, he will remain firm and constant amid all the various events and accidents of this mortal life. Let the weather be fine of let it rain, let the air be calm or let the wind blow, the wise man pays no attention to it, knowing well that nothing in this life is lasting, and that this is not a place of rest."
It may be easy to pay little attention to the wind or rain (or snow!) but when the winds blow sand in our eyes and we are faced with difficult circumstances, it is more difficult to "pay no attention." In fact, it may seem foolish, at times, to pay no attention to a situation or circumstance which is troubling to us. This is when the reminder of our "status" as pilgrims will serve us well.

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