November 6, 2013: Maxim 16

~by Susi Pittman

Saint Joseph is never quoted in the Bible, yet his example is heralded in scripture as he is referred to as a “just” man (Matthew 1:19). The scriptural interpretation of “just” is one who is completely obedient to God. God entrusted Joseph with two of His greatest treasures, Mary, Ark of the New Covenant, the spotless, virginal mother of the Son of God, and Jesus, Son of God, Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

I think it is safe to say that Joseph was a spiritually superior human being in all ways to have received this entrustment!

This past Saturday, I was attending one of my final classes in Saint Augustine, in preparation to become an Associate of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. One of the exercises we were given by Sister Marie Therese was to chose one of the Maxims of the Little Institute and meditate upon how Saint Joseph reflected this virtue and then how it applied to our own life’s journey.

I chose Maxim 16: In everything and everywhere, have only God, God’s will and glory before your eyes, and make no account of anything else.

Joseph lived and experienced this in his whole life. He had moved immediately at God’s request to do God’s will, having God before him in all things. The glory of God was before him in the presence of Jesus and Mary and also in the creation that he utilized in his carpentry of fine wood items. Joseph’s life did nothing but point to his obedience in doing God’s will—emptying himself totally—being filled with the Holy Spirit as he cared for Mary and Jesus.

Over two years ago, I felt a calling that led me to discern a journey into creation stewardship. In a world of deep ecological and conservation troubles, the non-empathetic attitude of a culture of convenience moved me to create a web presence to raise awareness to the need for a RECOMMITMENT to God as caretakers of the earth.

In this way, Maxim 16 became a part of my life. I DO see God everywhere and in everything! I celebrate creation! God could not be contained in just one natural creature, so He diversified Himself throughout His creation and its creatures.

I see God’s glory each day with the sunrise and each evening as the stars fill the heavens. Especially at this time of the year, Gods loving hand in the season of spring paints the pastel colors of love across landscape. I see God’s presence in each pair of eyes I meet, be they human or animal.

This beautiful glory in nature that abounds across this planet has called me to devote my life to share Christ as the Redeemer of ALL creation.

Our first and fundamental physical and spiritual inheritance is the earth and all of its creatures. It is the most basic of the social justice teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

It is time to get back to basics and renew the face of the earth in appreciation of the Creator who loves it ALL.

Susi Pittman is founder of and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; an advocate for the Florida Catholic Conference; a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Council of Women in Jacksonville, Florida; an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine;a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

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