Christ in Evolution: Weekly Summary

Christ in Evolution

Summary: Sunday, March 10—Friday, March 15, 2019

God keeps creation both good and new—which means always going somewhere even better or, in a word, evolving. God keeps creating things from the inside out. (Sunday)

With greater differentiation and complexity there will also be pushback, fear, and confusion. What can we do in the face of resistance? I believe contemplation or nondual consciousness can help us approach change with creativity, openness, and courage. (Monday)

God’s Christ Project encompasses the entire evolving universe, and its aim is to bring creation (along with all of us) back to God, fully conscious of our divine origin and divine destiny. —Louis Savary (Tuesday)

The success of God’s plan for creation depends on [our] conscious and creative activity to keep the divine plan evolving and developing in the direction God wants for creation. —Louis Savary (Wednesday)

We must fix our eyes on the future, on forging new relationships of love that include the earth, all peoples, all religions, all planets and all galaxies. —Ilia Delio (Thursday)

We must consciously evolve; we must orient our being toward new life and growth because the unity that we really are, the deep connective tissue of oneness, will not let us rest with separateness. —Ilia Delio (Friday)

 

Practice: Seeing a Luminous World
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; . . .
—Gerard Manley Hopkins [1]

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin often used the image of fire for God. As with Moses’ experience of the burning bush, the fire invites our reverent attention; it burns without consuming. Teilhard wrote:

. . . the World gradually caught fire for me, burst into flames; how this happened all during my life, and as a result of my whole life, until it formed a great luminous mass, lit from within, that surrounded me. . . . Christ. His Heart. A Fire: a fire with the power to penetrate all things—and which was now gradually spreading unchecked. [2]

Louis Savary suggests a simple practice to help us see the luminous divine everywhere:

Teilhard encourages us to learn this new way of seeing and promises that as we deeply explore our world with it, we will begin to see how God has “invaded” and “ignited” the universe with a consuming, loving fire. He wants us to be able to see, ultimately, the entire universe as the shining Body of Christ.

God is waiting for you, Teilhard says, to discover the diaphanous divine beauty, not only in the spectacular loveliness of creation on earth or in its ever-expanding vastness in outer space, but also in your daily personal and interpersonal experience.

We learn to develop these new eyes, the same way we learn any art, by ongoing practice. Here is a basic spiritual practice of Teilhardian spirituality. . . .

In order to discover and frequently exercise your new eyes to discern the fire or luminosity within things, start small. Choose one living thing, such as a flower, a bug, a pet, or a baby, and with your imagination picture a kind of glow or luminousness surrounding and penetrating the object of your contemplation. Stay with it for a few minutes, focusing not on the external beauty or complexity of the object but upon the glow surrounding and penetrating it, as if that were its source of life and existence.

Once you learn to do this, the glow or luminosity will develop a life of its own. Then you can move on to another object of contemplation to witness its glowing luminosity.

From time to time, say a word of thanks to this benevolent God who is constantly revealing God’s self to you everywhere in creation.

References:
[1] Gerard Manley Hopkins, “God’s Grandeur,” The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, 4th edition, eds. W. H. Gardner and N. H. MacKenzie (Oxford University Press: 1967), 66.

[2] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Heart of Matter, trans. René Hague (Harcourt Brace & Company: 1980, ©1978), 15, 47

Louis M. Savary, Teilhard de Chardin—The Divine Milieu Explained: A Spirituality for the 21st Century (Paulist Press: 2007), 14-15.

 

For Further Study:
Ilia Delio, Christ in Evolution (Orbis Books: 2008)

Ilia Delio, The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution, and the Power of Love (Orbis Books: 2013)

Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe (Convergent: 2019)

Louis M. Savary, Teilhard de Chardin—The Divine Milieu Explained: A Spirituality for the 21st Century (Paulist Press: 2007)

Louis M. Savary, The New Spiritual Exercises: In the Spirit of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (Paulist Press: 2010)

Image credit: Gua Tewet Tree of Life (detail), cave painting, Borneo, Indonesia.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: If the dynamics of the universe from the beginning shaped the course of the heavens, lighted the sun, and formed the earth, if this same dynamism brought forth the continents and seas and atmosphere, if it awakened life in the primordial cell and then brought into being the unnumbered variety of living beings, and finally brought us into being and guided us safely through the turbulent centuries, there is reason to believe that this same guiding process is precisely what has awakened in us our present understanding of ourselves and our relation to this stupendous process. —Thomas Berry (1914-2009)

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