Struggling to stay Catholic? You're not alone. Faith seeks wonder to flourish. I'll share it when it shows up.

But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. – Matthew 5:34-35 (RSV-CE)

Beyond the moral exhortation, what captivates me in scripture like this is the relationship between Heaven, Earth, and the Holy One. Here Earth and Heaven are connected in the one who rests on them both.

As the throne of God, the invisible realm of Heaven enjoys primacy over God's footstool, the visible earthly realm. Yet both are a manifestation of God's reign and bear his presence each in a way appropriate to its nature.

It echoes the Hermetic Philosophy sounding then from out of Roman Egypt into the whole of the Hellenistic world.

As above, so below. That is the key to all mysteries.

That which is above is like that which is below and that which is below is like that which is above, to achieve the wonders of the one thing. The earth is a reflection of the macrocosm of the universe. – Hermetica, The Emerald Tablet

The eye of faith sees in the physical a reflection of the immaterial. It does not reject the physical, as the gnostics did then. Nor does it worship the material as a statement of God's favor, confusing gift for the giver as American Christians do now. Rather, a Christianity informed by the Hellenistic worldview into which it was born simply learns from the visible world about the invisible Father in order to love him rightly.

What does the turning season say about the nature of the Father? The leaves returning to the soil, do they not speak of the Son? And contemplating both, is it not the work of the Spirit to write the lessons of the Book of Nature onto the tablet of the human soul?

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Except where otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from the Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1965, 1966 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.