A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Mountains High

Posted on: May 16, 2013

When I was nearly nine years old, my father was transferred to another military base, and so my family moved from Vancouver Island to southern Ontario. I missed the sounds and smell of the ocean, but I also missed the mountains. It took me a while to get used to seeing rolling hills instead.

Why are people so fascinated by mountains? We photograph them, paint them, and race to be the first to climb them. Perhaps it’s because these natural wonders are grander and more breathtaking than anything we could build.

The Bible refers many times to mountains, including the mountains of Ararat, where Noah’s ark came to rest (see Genesis 8:4); Mount Nebo, where God showed Moses the Promised Land (see Deuteronomy 34:1-4); and the Mount of Olives, from which Jesus rode into Jerusalem (see Matthew 21:1-11).

Regardless of their elevation or the view from the peak, mountains seem to symbolize endurance, and this is reflected in Psalm 125:1-2:

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,

which cannot be moved, but abides for ever.

As the mountains are round about Jerusalem,

so the LORD is round about his people,

from this time forth and for evermore.

(Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition)

The psalmist reminds us that faith in God will ground us and that the Lord lovingly protects and guards us—something it can be a comfort to know when everything from technology to standards of morality seems to shift overnight.

Sadly, many people are unaware of or have even forgotten the message of these verses. While the results of Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey may not be decisive, simple observation tells us that our culture is increasingly secular. For example, parks, golf courses and shopping centres tend to be busier than churches on a Sunday morning.

Yet the fact that so many people consider themselves “spiritual,” if not “religious,” shows that there is a hunger for the kind of peace and strength they could find only through faith.

I pray that those who are looking in the wrong places for that peace and strength would open their hearts to God and bring their cares to him.

And with Victoria Day weekend on the way, I pray that everyone would get lots of yard work done (if there’s no more frost here) and enjoy the fireworks. And please stay safe: don’t drink and drive—or text and drive.

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1 Response to "Mountains High"

It seems that in most cases, those who prefer to be called “spiritual” instead of “religious,” are looking for a euphemistic way to say “I’m calling the shots.” Happy for your conversion!

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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