My spirit soars in swelling praise as I rise in altitude. I come before these vistas as approaching the Lord’s table; the nourishment of sky and terrain feed my soul. The cry of hawk and eagle are hymns directed by the whistling wind. It is within the sky-blue walls of this sunday school classroom where these sainted sierras show me the grandeur of God. Here, surrounded by and in the mountains, I find my many-steepled sanctuary.
O tall mountains
of confidence in God,
you never surrender when the Lord tests you!
Although you stand far away from me
as if in exile, all alone,
you remind me that
no armed power is strong enough to best you.
Your trust in God is wonderful!
The mountain opens its secrets only to those who have the courage to challenge it. It demands sacrifice and training. It requires you to leave the security of the valleys but offers spectacular views from the summit to those who have the courage to climb it. Therefore, it is a reality which strongly suggests the journey of the spirit, called to lift itself up from the earth to heaven, to meet God.
-Pope John Paul IIThe pale flowers of the dogwood outside this window are saints. The little yellow flowers that nobody notices on the edge of that road are saints looking up into the face of God. This leaf has its own texture and its own pattern of veins and its own holy shape, and the bass and trout hiding in the deep pools of the river are canonized by their beauty and their strength. The lakes hidden among the hills are saints, and the sea too is a saint who praises God without interruption in her majestic dance. The great, gashed, half-naked mountain is another of God’s saints. There is no other like him. He is alone in his own character; nothing else in the world ever did or ever will imitate God in quite the same way. That is his sanctity.