So come, my dearly beloved son. Come now, even if for only one day, to talk about God and to theologize; to enjoy what you yearn for; to listen to the rough crags, those mystical and silent theologians, which expound deep thoughts and guide the heart and nous towards the Creator.
After spring it is beautiful here – from Holy Pascha until the Panagia’s day in August. The beautiful rocks theologize like voiceless theologians, as does all of nature – each creature with its own voice or its silence. If you bump your hand against a little plant, immediately it shouts very loudly with its natural fragrance, “Ouch! You didn’t see me, but hit me!” And so on, everything has its own voice, so that when the wind blows, their movement creates a harmonious musical doxology to God. And what more shall we say about the creeping things and winged birds? When that saint sent his disciple to tell the frogs to be quiet so that they could read the Midnight Service, they answered him, “Be patient until we’re done with Matins!”
Everything animate and inanimate sings praises to God. Some with their voice, others with the movement of their leaves: each one has its own voice. And even a small blade of grass, if you crush it, it shouts – the scent it gives off is its own voice.
So all these things that the Holy Scriptures mention were all made for man. He made man last of all, so that he would see that everything was very good and rejoice with delight beholding them.
But how was man formed? God took earth, the most humble material, so that he would always be humble; there is nothing more humble than earth. He designed a little clay house, breathed into it, and created man’s soul… That is God placed the divine breathing as if within four walls of clay; He placed His breath inside.
O heavenly grandeur! O glory and honor of man! He is humble clay, but he is also divine breath!
-Elder Joseph the Hesychast (from Monastic Wisdom, letters 57 & 62)