Signs of spring are emerging, bringing with them a sense of all that we’ve just experienced in the liturgy: Resurrection! All the plants and trees that once experienced diminishment and death are now rising up again by a seemingly invisible power. And what is this power? Well, some would say it is simply the presence of a gene within the plant, telling it to begin growing when the conditions are right—the warming soil, adequate moisture and brighter sunlight. Others would say it is simply the miracle of God, our creator, who by his will makes the plant life bud forth each year.
Are these apparently opposing statements mutually exclusive? Not in the least. As the Psalmist rightly says in Psalm 104: “You make the grass grow for the cattle, and plants to serve mankind’s need….” and again in Psalm 147: “He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills.” Faith reveals that God governs all life on earth, down to the smallest gene, atom and particle; indeed, he manifests his will and his glory by means of the miracles of science.
And so, all of creation can rise up and praise God simply by being what it is: the bright red poppy, the humble dandelion, the hawk soaring above the trees and the worm tilling the soil. Each process of natural science, seen and unseen, hidden or observed, is a work of God. Every morning at Lauds we monks and nuns are blessed to reflect this truth in our own prayer of praise. “Praise the Lord from the earth … you mountains and all hills … fruit trees and all cedars … young men and women, old men and children…. Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!” (Psalm 148-150).