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Vision of Goodness

In 1866, Saint Therese Couderc (whose feast day is September 26) had a vision of the goodness of all creation. She saw the word Goodness “written on all creatures, animate and inanimate.” (Read more of how she described her experience here.

But what does it mean to have a vision of goodness? Indeed, what does it mean to be granted any kind of vision, assuming that the vision is true?

I believe that a vision is often not so much seeing something new and strange that is placed before us. Rather I think it implies the gift of perceiving more truly: that is, seeing with God’s eyes and knowing with God’s heart. And what is seen may well be something that has been with us all along, as it was with our Mother Therese. How often she had seen those ordinary “creatures, animate and inanimate”! How often she had looked at the simple chair she used for a kneeler! But now she was seeing them more nearly as God sees them. They were all good, and more, they were good because God had imparted to them something of the divine goodness.

 

 

 

 

So a vision, in this sense, does not imply seeing something that had not been there before—and even less does it suggest seeing something that is not there at all. Instead it means seeing people or things more truly—it means sharing in a small way the divine vision.

We cannot make this kind of seeing happen. And we cannot see in whole the way God does. For now “we see in a mirror, dimly,” until that time of fulfillment when “we will see face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12). But even today we may pray fervently for the gift of seeing people and things as God sees them. And we may choose to look at each other and at creation more carefully and more generously, as we grow in the graced desire to live more and more in union with Jesus Christ, and therefore grow in perceiving more clearly in him.

“God saw everything that he had made,
and indeed, it was very good.”
(Genesis 1:31)

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For more on vision: “Seeing with God’s Eyes

Photo: View through lenses is of Lake Alice on the University of Florida campus.

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