Back From Paradise
By the grace of God, I'm back in Korea after a fortnight on Maui, where I was a guest for two Sundays at Maria Lanakila Catholic Church in historic Lahaina, the first capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and a night each on Oahu and Guam.
"The Valley Isle" was of such unearthly beauty that on my first days there I entertained a few difficulties with the Doctrine of Heaven; how could anything be more beautiful than what lay before me? Fitting then that this reading from the Little Office of Our Lady by Saint Anselm of Canterbury should have been the last I read there, and even more so that the islands themselves were inhabited by human beings at about the time of the events described:
- Blessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night--everything that is subject to the power or use of man--rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace. All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for human beings or for the praise of God who made them. The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of human beings who served idols. Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendor by those who believe in God.
The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God himself, its Creator, it sees him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary's womb.