A New Creation — Center for Action and Contemplation

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A New Creation


A New Creation
Friday, March 2, 2018

My Franciscan colleague, theologian and scientist Ilia Delio, applies the process of evolution to human spiritual growth:

If being the image of God is at the heart of evolution in Christ, then the spiritual life is essential to Christian evolution. A dynamic interior spirit must be at the heart of change. Change is not what happens outside us; rather, change must first take root within us. . . . Just as the world of nature has an inner freedom to be itself, so too Christian life, if it is truly an evolutionary life in Christ, must be rooted in freedom.

. . . We live in a dynamic and unfolding universe; ours is an open system of life. In light of an evolving universe where change is integral to the emergence of new life, we should welcome change as the very sign of life. To resist change is ultimately to resist Christ; it is to prevent evolution toward unity of life in the universe. To be a Christian is to be “on the way,” announcing the good news of the risen Christ through spiritual attitudes of poverty of being, humility, compassion, openness of heart and mind. . . .

[We need] a new understanding of Christ, a new way of doing theology, and a renewed sense of Christian life. The vernacular theology of the mystics is the most viable way that Christ can be raised from the dead and become “God for us”—through participation, dialogue, and engagement with the world. Teilhard [de Chardin’s] spiritual vision, centered on and rooted in Christ, emphasizes “global responsibility, action and choice in shaping the future of humanity on our planet. He affirms that life is a task to be done, a work to be achieved, and celebrates life as a most precious and wonderful gift to be loved and experienced as a sign of the Spirit who sustains us all.” [1] . . .

[We] are to seek the hidden God in our world by seeking the hidden God in our lives—living Christ by doing Christ.

[1] Ursula King, Christ in All Things: Exploring Spirituality with Teilhard de Chardin (Orbis Books: 1997), 158.

Ilia Delio, Christ in Evolution (Orbis Books: 2008), 154-155.

If we are created in the image and likeness of God, then whatever good, true, or beautiful things we can say about humanity or creation we can also say of God—but they’re even more true! God is the beauty of creation and humanity multiplied to the infinite power. —Richard Rohr
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