Everything that lives and breathes is sacred and beautiful in the eyes of God. The whole world is a sacrament. The entire created cosmos is a burning bush of God’s uncreated energies. And humankind stands as a priest before the altar of creation, as microcosm and mediator. Such is the true nature of things; or, as an Orthodox hymn describes it, “the truth of things,” if only we have the eyes of faith to see it.  -   Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I

Everything that lives and breathes is sacred and beautiful in the eyes of God. The whole world is a sacrament. The entire created cosmos is a burning bush of God’s uncreated energies. And humankind stands as a priest before the altar of creation, as microcosm and mediator. Such is the true nature of things; or, as an Orthodox hymn describes it, “the truth of things,” if only we have the eyes of faith to see it.  -   Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I

"Love all God’s creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light! Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything you will perceive the divine mystery in things. And once you have pereeived it you will begin to comprehend it ceaselessly, more and more every day. And you will at last come to love the whole world with an abiding universal love. Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and untroubled joy. Do not therefore, trouble it, do not torture them, do not deprive them of their joy, do not go against God’s intent. "  - The Elder Zosima from Doestoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov

"Love all God’s creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light! Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything you will perceive the divine mystery in things. And once you have pereeived it you will begin to comprehend it ceaselessly, more and more every day. And you will at last come to love the whole world with an abiding universal love. Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and untroubled joy. Do not therefore, trouble it, do not torture them, do not deprive them of their joy, do not go against God’s intent. "  - The Elder Zosima from Doestoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov

"A certain philosopher questioned the holy Antony.  ‘How,’ said he, ‘dost thou content thyself, Father, who art denied the comfort of books?’  He answered, ‘My book, philosopher, is the nature of created things, and as often as I have a mind to read the words of God, it is at my hand.’" - Sayings of the Desert Fathers

"A certain philosopher questioned the holy Antony.  ‘How,’ said he, ‘dost thou content thyself, Father, who art denied the comfort of books?’  He answered, ‘My book, philosopher, is the nature of created things, and as often as I have a mind to read the words of God, it is at my hand.’" - Sayings of the Desert Fathers

onancientpaths
[People] are insatiable and ungrateful, unwilling to be at the outset what they were made to be, human beings subject to passions…they want, before becoming men, to be like God…[The animals] do not reproach God for not having made them men, but each gives thanks for being made what it has been made. We, by contrast, blame God because He has not made us gods from the beginning, but first men and then gods later…
St Irenaeus
“… how many of us become irritated and lose their temper when they are deprived, not of their last coin, but only of some small part of by no means their last property! How much agitation, anger, bile, bitter reproaches, murmuring, sometimes even curses! Righteous God! Can this dross called money, or this food and drink produce such storms in our Christian souls, in us who know the words of our sweetest Savior? ‘Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body what you shall put on. Behold the birds of the air, they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you’ (Mt. 6:25, 26, 33). Or: ‘A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses’ (Lk. 12:15).” - St John of Kronstadt

“… how many of us become irritated and lose their temper when they are deprived, not of their last coin, but only of some small part of by no means their last property! How much agitation, anger, bile, bitter reproaches, murmuring, sometimes even curses! Righteous God! Can this dross called money, or this food and drink produce such storms in our Christian souls, in us who know the words of our sweetest Savior? ‘Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body what you shall put on. Behold the birds of the air, they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you’ (Mt. 6:25, 26, 33). Or: ‘A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses’ (Lk. 12:15).” - St John of Kronstadt

"God created all things with his limitless power, brought them into being, holds them there and gathers them together and sets boundaries to them; in his providence, he links them all - intellectual beings as well as sensible - to each other as he does to himself.  In his might, God draws up all the things that are naturally distinct from each other and binds them to himself as their cause, their origin and goal; and through the power of this relationship to him as source, he lets them also be drawn toward each other…No being can permanently isolate itself through its own particularity or through the drive of its nature toward some other end; rather, everything remains, in its very being, bound without confusion to everything else, through the single, enduring relationship of all to their one and only source." - St Maximus the Confessor

"God created all things with his limitless power, brought them into being, holds them there and gathers them together and sets boundaries to them; in his providence, he links them all - intellectual beings as well as sensible - to each other as he does to himself.  In his might, God draws up all the things that are naturally distinct from each other and binds them to himself as their cause, their origin and goal; and through the power of this relationship to him as source, he lets them also be drawn toward each other…No being can permanently isolate itself through its own particularity or through the drive of its nature toward some other end; rather, everything remains, in its very being, bound without confusion to everything else, through the single, enduring relationship of all to their one and only source." - St Maximus the Confessor