“How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth! … When I see the heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars which You arranged, what is man that you should keep him in mind, mortal man that you care for him?”

Psalm 8 were the words on my heart as I experienced for the first time a week in the mountains.  I just recently returned from a Catholic retreat with twenty other young adults of camping in the mountains with a climb to the 14,000ft peak.

It was life-changing to be away from civilization and technology, the joys and struggles of the journey, and the Catholic atmosphere of Mass and Adoration in nature with a prayerful community, was all a beautiful blessing.

One of the many things I gained from this trip was seeing God and feeling His love in creation.

For me, God has always been an “in church or prayer” type of relationship.  So making this trip feel like a retreat was hard at first since we were in the rustic, dirty woods and didn’t have much time for silent, personal prayer.

Yet through the simple request of “show me Your love,” God began to reveal to me His love in ways I’ve never felt before.

I felt His love through the actions of the souls around me.  Receiving love from other people became messages of love from God.

I saw God’s joy in the little joys and triumphs of the day through laughter in the community, reaching the top of a mountain, or just receiving our results of filtered water.

Finally, I saw the glory and love of God through the grandeur of the mountains, intensity of the storm, stillness of the lakes, and overall beauty of His creation.

Prayer became more than just a “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10), but a way to breathe and a every-moment-of-my-day type of thing.

St. Therese said, “For me, prayer is a movement of the heart; it is a simple glance toward Heaven; it is a cry of gratitude and love in times of trial as well as in times of joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.”

In the mountains, every time I looked at the expansive beauty of God’s creation my soul would cry in gratitude and love.  A glance up at the view made my heart move in praise.

God is everywhere.

He is just as physical as He is spiritual and there is all of creation to prove it.  You and I are proof of a physical God and therefore He uses physical things to show us His love.

Doesn’t it seem natural to see the fingerprints of the artist in His art, the creator in His creation?

God isn’t confined to a church.  If we can expand our soul to see Him everywhere, even each other, it becomes so much easier to live and breathe love for Him.  The every breeze becomes a heavenly whisper, every star a playful wink, and every flower a soft kiss from God.