God in Everything: Our Source of Hope

July 20, 2016 / By: Susan Stabile

One of the hallmarks of Ignatian spirituality is that God can be found in all things. God dwells in all of creation; there is nothing that is not dripping with God's energy. For me one of the best expressions of that is the first line of Gerard Manley Hopkins poem, God's Grandeur - "The world is charged with the grandeur of God."

Hopkins' poem, which many of you have certainly heard before, conveys something the world so desperately needs in troubled times - hope. No matter how badly we fail to "reck his rod"... no matter how much we muck things up, no matter how dark things look, God is still there pouring out His love. The image of the Holy Spirit hovering over the world is one that never fails to lift me.

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell:
the soil is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs -
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.