Awe of God is the beginning of wisdom.

Ps 111:10

The white haired architect had just finished a long day in the office.  He was half a step ahead of me as we went through the doors out onto the street.  I saw him look up to the sky and heard him gasp: “Wow!”  Then I looked up and saw it too: the full moon, bulging, ivory white, resplendent and radiant, regally climbing the night sky.  “Wow!” was the only word for it.  Awe.

It wasn’t only the majesty of the moon that captured my attention that evening.  I was moved by this older man, drained by a hard day’s work under flourescent lights, able to refresh his soul with the primordial vision of the rising moon.


[One] who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead.

Albert Einstein

Today it is all too easy for us to be mesmerized only by the works of our own hands, the sophisticated products of human technology.  A simple taste for the awesome beauty and ingenuity of natural things needs to be cultivated.  Rather, it needs to be preserved, or recovered, from childhood.

How fascinating it can be to accompany children as they discover the natural world--the wonders of a leaf, a rabbit, or splashing water.  Through children we get to see and marvel at the world as if for the first time.  But, as I witnessed with the architect, “children” of every age can delight in God’s creation.  “Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the reign of heaven” (Mt 18:3).


Yahweh, our God, your greatness is seen in all the world!

Your praise reaches up to the heavens; it is sung by children and babies....

I look up at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

at the moon and the stars which you set in place....

the sheep and cattle, wild animals too,

the birds of the air, the fishes...and creatures of the sea.

Yahweh, our God, your greatness is seen in all the world!

Ps 8

Awe overcomes us when we glimpse a bit of heaven here on earth.  May we be child-like enough to be carried beyond ourselves by nature’s beauty, able to relish a sublime sunset or moonrise.  May our psalm of praise to God be: WOW!

Ronald Stanley, OP