It’s snowing in Washington. And I had quite a slow ride home through a very heavy fetch of snow that reflects back in the headlights making it difficult to see. But it had a magnificent and hypnotic effect. I will enjoy my walk tonight through the winter wonderland.
Not every one likes snow but is it an amazing work of God. He takes a barren winter landscape and creates it anew. I can almost hear the Lord saying, “Behold, I make all things new!”
In the modern world we often walk past the glory of God and hardly notice the gifts that God daily provides. I am mindful of the movie, “The Color Purple” when the main character “Ceilie” admits she is angry with God. Her friend “Shug” says, “I think God gets mad at us when we walk through a field and miss the color purple.”
Tonight and tomorrow I don’t want to miss God’s gift. It is true, it comes at the price of weather related hardships. But MAYBE just maybe, God can get a few of us here on the East Coast to stop, for just a minute and rest a while, and behold his glory. Getting “snowed in” for those who will get more than we are expected to get in DC, is a wonderful chance to become reacquainted with our family and even our very selves. And just looking out the window and marveling at the snow as it falls with a hypnotic and calming steadiness can be a prayer if we think of God who sends it. Where ever you are on this planet, don’t walk through life and miss the glory of God!
In the Book of Sirach there is a beautiful and poetic description of God and the majestic work he creates even in the “dead” of Winter. Enjoy this excerpt from Sirach and spiritually reflect on the glory of God in winter.
God in Winter:
- A word from God drives on the north wind.
- He scatters frost like so much salt;
- It shines like blossoms on the thornbush.
- Cold northern blasts he sends that turn the ponds to lumps of ice.
- He freezes over every body of water,
- And clothes each pool with a coat of mail.
- He sprinkles the snow like fluttering birds.
- Its shining whiteness blinds the eyes,
- The mind is baffled by its steady fall.
- Sirach 43, selected verses
Enjoy this video that recalls for us the joy and wonder of a snowfall that many of experienced when we were young:
10 Replies to “God in Winter – A Meditation on Finding God in the Snow.”
Here are the Lyrics to the Song:
How I remember sleepless nights
When we would read by candlelight
And on the windowpane outside
A new world made of snow
A million feathers falling down
A million stars that touch the ground
So many secrets to be found
Amid the falling snow
Maybe I am falling down
Tell me should I touch the ground?
Maybe I won’t make a sound
In the darkness all around
The silence of a winter’s night
Brings memories I hold inside
Remembering a blue moonlight
Upon the fallen snow
I close my window to the night
I leave the sky her tears of white
And all is lit by candlelight
Amid the falling snow
And all is lit by candlelight
Amid the falling snow
This is probably one of the few times you get to possibly catch a break from the hectic demands of your compulsory vocation. Snow was more fun as a child than as adult. As a child it was play but as an adult it is work. The thing that always impressed me about snow is how it quiets all the noise of the day with it’s acoustic effects. As a child living in the country, I liked to hike into the woods and fields in the snow observing the wildlife’s reaction and behavior to the snow. I came close to a mild case of frostbite when I was thirteen because I went sledding with a friend while wearing some canvas Converse tennis shoes I had wrapped with plastic bags to keep dry. Another time we went fishing at this creek in the snow and he caught the biggest bass we had ever caught out of that creek in all the times we had fished there. It was close to four pounds and he was going to throw it back but this other friend with us wanted to keep it. He took it home and told his mother he caught it. We couldn’t believe he would have done such a thing but snow does funny things to you if you stay out in it too long. We still get together as a group for a September weekend once a year and go canoeing down this river up in Oklahoma. Seems like we keep tellingl the same stories over again each year but they keep getting better every time. There is always someone leading prayer of thanks befor each meal so it’s as much a spiritual reflection as it is anything. God and nature go together like good friends. We are in our early sixties and the group varies some each year with kids and grandkids or their friends. Not sure how long this will go on but we have been doing it for about eight years and we are probably getting to the point where we would rather be at home snowed in for a quiet evening reflecting on Gods gifts.
Lovely. Thank you, Monsignor. This was the first thing I read this morning.
It’s 7am and, like you, we’re covered also in our new blanket of white… So silent and still, no cars or school-buses, no rushing about, on this 1st Friday of the new year. A perfect time to reflect on God with Us… Our “Yahweh is Salvation”!
Msgr. Pope, thank-you for this special blog reflection God and the season of winter.
Wintertime is the time which God calls us, via the weather to slow down a bit and appriciate His creation.
Thank you, Monsignor, for this lovely meditation (and for yesterday’s). You are right: it is God’s gift. The snow is beautiful, and like you and others have said in other posts, it forces some of us to slow down for a bit and reflect.
Thank you, Monsignor, for that wonderful reflection.
By the way, have you ever noticed when one prays the breviary, the canticle from Daniel seems to come up a lot on days when it’s particularly wintery. You know … frost and chill, bless the Lord, ice and snow, bless the Lord.
My favorite is from one i heard this Christmas…
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel
“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”
“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather
“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”
In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing
Thank you for reminding us of the quietness beauty of snow…
I was raised in a place where it hardly ever snows, but one year right before Easter (of all things!) it snowed! The goldenrod had bloomed so there was this beautiful yellow with even more beautiful white on it. I must have been seven or eight, but still remember it so very well, almost 45 years later. I knew there was something special about this…. a quiet grace… now that I am Catholic (fourteen years ago I entered the Church), I always think of Mary when I see snow now. There is a quiet grace to our lives when it snows… I hope that everyone has a chance to experience that. “But MAYBE just maybe, God can get a few of us here on the East Coast to stop, for just a minute and rest a while, and behold his glory.” Thank you for this…. Lisa
Words just can’t possibly express THE WONDER WHO IS GOD!!! Thank you for this pleasant blog, Monsignor.
it leads us to a better understanding of gods son Jesus Christ being born in the winter time.
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