Admiring the work of God, the best artist of all

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Franciscan Missionary of Mary Sr. Hilda Mary Bernath with her rabbit project in Curahuasi, Peru (Courtesy of Hilda Mary Bernath)
Franciscan Missionary of Mary Sr. Hilda Mary Bernath with her rabbit project in Curahuasi, Peru (Courtesy of Hilda Mary Bernath)

Being one with nature, we are happy to praise God the Almighty — the creator who is also our protector. We thank God by taking care of our Mother Earth, protecting and nurturing her. We praise and love God by taking care of his creation.

I have been meditating on my own experience with creation.

First of all, I love pets, and when I arrived here, I bought two rabbits to care for as my first "extra" activity in the community. Within a few months, they multiplied! I was feeding, cleaning and doing everything for them, and in the beginning, we had no place to put them.

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Rabbits in the new hutches (Courtesy of Hilda Mary Bernath)
Rabbits in the new hutches (Courtesy of Hilda Mary Bernath)

With some financial help from the province, I bought some hutches to house them. Our community decided to raise them to sell as a money-making project for the children who stay in our hostel, since we are economically poor in our village. Rabbits and guinea pigs are very special in Curahuasi, Peru, the place where we live.

By then, I had 14 rabbits. But it was not very easy to sell them because here the people eat rabbit only on special occasion. So I sold all my rabbits for 200 soles. (about US$50) Now I have only guinea pigs to sell, and I'm using that income to help our children.

I took care of my rabbits and guinea pigs with love — talking to them and sending them "positive vibrations" every day, in order to have positive energy in my own life journey. In being with them, I have learned to be sensitive and kind.

I have always admired the creation of God! The color of flowers, the highest mountains, the running streams, the evergreen trees, and the animals, both wild animals and those we keep as pets. This beautiful creation inspired me to love nature and to plant different kinds of vegetables. I did the work wholeheartedly and with love, to occupy myself with love for God's creation.

I cleaned the garden, which now has room to plant roses, beetroot, carrots, greens and onions. I enjoy gardening and when I am doing it, I feel that it is good exercise for me, and gives me a chance to organize my mind and to plan my free time.

As Psalm 48 says, great is the Lord most worthy of praise in the city of God: his holy mountain. Beautifully elevated, his city is the joy of all the Earth. No one can create and imagine as God because he is the best artist of all.

I am wondering at and praising the work of God, who was so creative with shapes, colors and designs. The leaves of the plants are marvelous for my eyes; though the color of their leaves may all be green, they are not the same in their pattern, and each plant has own color, shade and shape.

As I admire them, I reflect that we all are even more precious than those plants. Our gardner God is taking care of us, too, and protecting us in his shadow.

Experiencing the fruit of the Earth and having a chance to take care of Mother Earth has brought me much happiness. I was very interested in my garden work, and it was a good time to relax and keep busy during this pandemic time. Each plant teaches me lessons in how to be calm and peaceful in mind and heart.

Above all, I thank God, our creator and protector, who inspired me to respect and honor what he has created with his great love.

Hilda Mary Bernath

Sr. Hilda Mary Bernath is from Tamil Nadu, South India. With an academic preparation in education, Montessori, and child psychology, she taught school in both Tamil and English. After becoming a Franciscan Missionary of Mary, she did graduate work in theology, spirituality and missiology. Currently, she is ministering in Peru, studying Spanish and doing missionary work.

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