Thoughts from Deacon Joe
With firearm deer hunting season right around the corner, many are preparing by sighting in their firearms, organizing equipment, preparing deer stands and sharing deer hunting stories.
The reasons for deer hunting vary with each hunter.
For many hunters I have encountered, including myself, the joy of being surrounded by God’s creation, goodness and peace have been expressed as a key reason.
When you immerse yourself in God’s wonderful creation while hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing or deer hunting, there is a tremendous opportunity to open yourself to encountering God through God’s fingerprints left all around us.
“Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound; let the plains be joyful and all this is in them. Then let all the trees of the forest rejoice before the Lord”. Psalm 96:11-12
Hunting and just being outdoors creates space to grow in gratitude for God’s goodness, love and the care God has for each one of us. This time allows space for a deeper appreciation of our interconnectedness with God’s creation, and therefore the welfare of humanity that is woven into care for creation.
Pope Francis reminds us in his Apostolic Exhortation, Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home, “Our relationship with the environment can never be isolated from our relationship with others and with God.” n119
Care for God’s Creation is also a central theme of Catholic Social Teaching that when we protect our environment, we are taking a pro-life position, especially toward those who are most effected by climate change.
My prayer for all of us this hunting season is to be safe, have fun, enjoy stories of the deer that got away and strengthen relationships, especially with our creator as we are gifted with time to reflect in gratitude for the gifts that God has bestowed on us.
A grateful heart leads to a joyful and peaceful mind