Saint Paisios of Mount Athos: God’s Wisdom and the Environment

Ah, what beauty has God created by His single word! What harmony, what diversity! Wherever you look, you can see God’s wisdom and majesty in all things. Look at the celestial bodies, the stars, and the ease with which His divine hand scattered them. He did not use plumb lines and bubble levels used by builders. How much rest a man can get from looking at the starry sky! Meanwhile, a man gets tired of artificial lights, which are displayed in a straight row. God has arranged everything in perfect harmony! Look at the forests planted by man: the trees stand like marching troops; they are like companies of soldiers. How well does a man restore his strength in a real forest, as opposed to an artificial one! Some trees are smaller, others are bigger, each tree is different from the other even in color. One tiny God’s flower has more grace than a whole armful of artificial paper flowers. They differ from one another just as the Spirit differs from the spirits.

Everything created by God is astonishing. Take the human body: it’s a whole factory. God has wisely determined a place for everything: the heart, liver, lungs. The plants – how cleverly He has arranged them! We planted five rows of melons during the occupation and watered them. Somehow, thinking of making them better and cleaning the melons, I cut off the big leaves near their roots. However, it turned out that those big leaves were a kind of “filters” or “kidneys” of the plants and they captured all the bitterness. Oh, those melons! They were burning our mouths…

Geronda, you notice everything…

I find God in everything! In plants and animals, in everything. How can I not be surprised? A tiny bird goes on a journey, reaches Africa, and then returns without a compass and finds its nest! People with maps and road signs get lost. Birds traverse the sky instead of land, so they don’t leave any markings behind. They fly in the heights above the sea! Tell me, please, where do you leave your markings there? And there are also some birds that are so small that they sit on storks’ backs as if they were real air passengers! Some birds that fly over the sea, sit on an island and rest. Once, when I lived in the Holy Cross Cell, I saw birds flying from the east that looked like sparrows, only bigger and more beautiful. There was a whole flock of them. However, four or five birds were probably exhausted and could not fly any further. About fifteen more birds parted from the flock then – the rest continued flying – and sat on a tree together with tired birds, had a little rest, and then they soared into the sky all together and continued flying. First of all, they flew up very high to orient themselves and catch up with the others. I was impressed by the fact that the flock did not leave the tired birds alone, but gave them fifteen more companions – the “assistance group”.

How beautiful has God created everything! Look at the kittens: how spotty they are! And what beautiful coats they have! We people should be jealous of the animal outfits! The queen herself hasn’t worn such fur coats! Wherever you turn, you’ll see the wisdom of God in everything. What a beauty it used to be when everything was natural! Here is the rooster, who crows regardless of the weather. He stands on one leg, and as soon as it becomes numb, he cries out: “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” He says, “It’s been a while”… Then he stands on the other leg, and as soon as it becomes numb, he says again, “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” See, he crows at midnight, and then at three and six o’clock in the morning. Every three hours. The rooster doesn’t have an alarm clock or batteries. And you don’t have to wind him up either…

Use everything you see and hear as a means of communicating with the celestial realm. Everything must lead you to heaven. This is how man gradually ascends from creation to the Creator.

Source: “Homilies”. Volume 1. “With Pain and Love about the Modern Man.”
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds

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