Snow Fall and the Grace of God
Fr. Peter Daly
February 16, 2003
††††††††††† Snow covers everything outside my window right now.† The whole area is muffled under a two foot deep blanket of white.
††††††††††† The Weather Channel and the news stations are broadcasting dire storm warnings and advising us to stay indoors, bring in the cat and put rock salt and snow shovels in our car trunks. They make it all sound very ominous.
††††††††††† But I am glad.
††††††††††† This blanket of snow is really a spiritual experience. It is a sign of Godís grace and a metaphor for how that grace is experienced.
††††††††††† First of all it is powerful.
The snow is a reflection of the power of God. It disrupts our plans and makes us rethink our priorities. Whatever was on the agenda before the blizzard is cancelled.† What we thought was important becomes unimportant. We discover that we can live without doing this and going there. Snow is a gentle sign of Godís great power and reminds us that He, not we, is the sovereign of the universe. It is His plan, not ours, that prevails. Snow reminds us of Godís power.
††††††††††† Secondly, it is silent.
It falls silently and makes the world around into a sort of monastery. In the contemplative life monks and nuns need silence so they can listen to God, not to the world. We need some silence too.† When there is silence it is possible to hear God speaking to us in the stillness of our hearts. When only the soft crunch of our boots is heard on the snow and all other noise is muffled, we hear on another level. Snow reminds us that our souls need stillness to wait upon the Lord.
††††††††††† Third, it is beautiful and bright.
According to the ancient philosophers, beauty is one the attributes of God. This shimmering blanket covers everything in softness. It makes the whole world brilliant with radiant light. When the world is illuminated so intensely in the sun on the snow we remember that God is ďlight from lightĒ and that He is beauty itself.† We are moved to think of the luminous mystery of God and yearn for Him. Snow reminds us that God is found in light and beauty.
Fourth, like Godís grace, the snow covers everything.
St. Paul says that over all things we should put on love. When we see the snow all about, I think it seems like Godís love covering everything. It makes hard edges softer. It makes ugly things beautiful. It is a generous outpouring of Godís love. Like rain, snow falls ďon the just and unjustĒ and offers us all a chance for renewal.† Snow reminds us of Godís love, which covers all sin and makes it all things new.
Finally, snow is pure and clean.
In Psalm 51, David prays that God will forgive his sin and make him whiter than snow. This light blanket is absolutely pure when it comes from God. Later, it may be stained by our soot and sin, but for now it is pure, like all of creation at the beginning. Snow reminds us of the purity and goodness of God.
††††††††††† Tomorrow will be time enough for shoveling and getting back to our routines. For one day anyway, we have a real Sabbath imposed on us by the hand of God. This snow makes us rest and turn our thoughts to God. It is a grace that fell from heaven.†