A Thousand Graces Diffusing

Emerald branches of young pines draped overhead
Creating a natural corridor in the depth of the forest
Pinpoints of scattered light touched the cool ground
Evaporating dew sparkled like polished diamonds

I dared to enter this holiness with my unworthiness
and risk walking into a tunnel constructed by nature
Beauty’s compelling truth revealed with each step
Cosmic jewels arranged perfectly with God’s grace

There you all were, friends delighting in the dance
Had I happened upon you, or perhaps you upon me
Either way, the mysterious, colorfully complete
God had walked ahead diffusing graces visually

Here in the grove, St. John of the Cross, a visitor
A place created for souls to explore community
Now I see in the wonder, individual iridescence
of a thousand different persons shining perfectly


Many years ago when I first started exploring the deer trails within the forest behind my home, I came upon a naturally formed arch of pine trees.  All the lower branches had been likely eaten by the deer, leaving a perfect tunnel with no end in sight.  It has been widened by the occasional All Terrain Vehicle passing through. It still evokes the sensation of the first time I dared to enter, as the morning dew was beginning to dry up in the sun sparkling like multicolor jewels. 

A few years ago, I came across a poem by St. John of the Cross titled “A Spiritual Canticle.”  In it he describes a walk through a grove of trees in which he could not help but consider God had passed through before him, diffusing graces along the way.  God’s graces having no limit became visible to me in my own moment in the grove.  Over time I have grown to recognize these graces reflecting in everyone and everything.  There is no doubt it is God’s love for us, lighting up the cosmic dust inside for all to sense its true beauty.

For further reflection: A Spiritual Canticle – St. John of the Cross