Mountains and Hills
There is something about a mountain or hill, which beckons us to marvel at its immensity and for many to climb it. While climbing, we are focused upon the summit as our goal. Upon reaching the top, we are proud of our achievement and thankful to be there. Looking out as far as we can see toward the horizons, we are humbled by the grandeur of it all. A mountain can be a perfect place to retreat from the busy-ness of the day, to rest and pray in silence and peace. Jesus often went to a mountain to pray. Then He went about doing good works, healing the sick, and forgiving sins. Similarly, may our consciousness of God's Presence in silent prayer and at Mass, while in the outdoors or on retreat, and during recreation re-energize us to take care of those entrusted to us and to do good works.
My son, the blessings I give are better than the promise of ancient mountains or eternal hills. Joseph, I pray these blessings will come to you, because you are the leader of your brothers.
You will have a rich harvest from the slopes of the ancient hills.
Your decisions are always fair.
They are firm like mountains,
deep like the sea,
and all people and animals
are under your care.
And so, we won't be afraid!
Let the earth tremble
and the mountains tumble
into the deepest sea.
Let the ocean roar and foam,
and its raging waves
shake the mountains.
Psalm 72:3 (NIV)
The mountains will bring prosperity to the people,
the hills the fruit of righteousness.
Shade from this vine covered
the mighty cedars ...
From your home above
you send rain on the hills
and water the earth.
Psalm 114:4 (NIV)
... the mountains skipped like rams,
the hills like lambs.
My birth was before mountains were formed or hills were put in place.
Song of Solomon 2:8
I hear the voice
of the one I love,
as he comes leaping
over mountains and hills ...
In the future, the mountain with the LORD's temple will be the highest of all. It will reach above the hills; every nation will rush to it.
Did any of you measure the ocean by yourself or stretch out the sky with your own hands? Did you put the soil of the earth in a bucket or weigh the hills and mountains on balance scales?
I will destroy the mountains and what grows on them; I will dry up rivers and ponds.
Isaiah 52:7 (NIV)
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
Every mountain and hill may disappear. But I will always be kind and merciful to you; I won't break my agreement to give your nation peace.
When you are set free, you will celebrate and travel home in peace. Mountains and hills will sing as you pass by, and trees will clap.
On that day, fruitful vineyards will cover the mountains. And your cattle and goats that graze on the hills will produce a lot of milk. Streams in Judah will never run dry; a stream from my house will flow in Acacia Valley.
You will have such a harvest that you won't be able to bring in all of your wheat before plowing time. You will have grapes left over from season to season; your fruitful vineyards will cover the mountains.
In the future, the mountain with the LORD's temple will be the highest of all. It will reach above the hills, and every nation will rush to it.
The LORD said to his people: Come and present your case to the hills and mountains.
At the sight of the LORD, mountains and hills tremble and melt; the earth and its people shudder and shake.
When you stopped, the earth shook; when you stared, nations trembled; when you walked along your ancient paths, eternal mountains and hills crumbled and collapsed.
Then he went up on a mountain where he could be alone and pray. Later that evening, he was still there.
I sing the mighty power of God,
that made the mountains rise ...
—Isaac Watts. I Sing the Mighty Power of God (Praise for Creation and Providence) .
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green? ...
—William Blake (1757–1827). Milton [c. 1809], prefactory poem.
All the hills blush; I think that autumn must be the best season to journey over even the Green Mountains. You frequently exclaim to yourself, What red maples!
—Henry David Thoreau. "A Yankee in Canada" , in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 6, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
Mountains are earth's undecaying monuments.
—Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864). Sketches from Memory , The Notch of the White Mountains.
When our daily tasks and duties become hills of paper, and when the mountains in life are difficult to climb, may we remember that Jesus prayed at the Mount of Olives, carried His Cross up to Calvary, and died there for the forgiveness of our sins. He rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven where He is seated—higher than every hill and mountain.
Glacier National Park, British Columbia.
Photo courtesy of Paul G. Brach.
(C) 2002 by Anthony R. Brach