Christ Since the Beginning: Weekly Summary

Christ Since the Beginning

Summary: Sunday, February 17-Friday, February 22, 2019

God’s first “idea” was to pour out divine infinite love into finite, visible forms. The Big Bang is our scientific name for that first idea, and “Christ” is our theological name. (Sunday)

Long before Jesus’ personal Incarnation, Christ was deeply embedded in all things—as all things! (Monday)

Through the act of creation, God manifested the eternally out-flowing Divine Presence into the physical and material world. Ordinary matter is the hiding place for Spirit and thus the very Body of God. (Tuesday)

The world is created as a means of God’s self-revelation so that, like a mirror or footprint, it might lead us to love and praise the Creator. We are created to read the book of creation so that we may know the Author of Life. —Ilia Delio (Wednesday)

“The Christ Mystery” proclaims that there is universal and equal access to God for all who have ever wanted love and union since the primal birth of humanity. (Thursday)

The world is like a crystal lamp illumined from within by the light of Christ. For those who can see, Christ shines in this diaphanous universe, through the cosmos and in matter. —Ilia Delio (Friday)

 

Practice: Seeing God in Creation
God brought things into being in order that God’s goodness might be communicated to creatures, and be represented by them; and because that goodness could not be adequately represented by one creature alone, God produced many and diverse creatures, that what was wanting to one in the representation of the divine goodness might be supplied by another. For goodness, which in God is simple and uniform, in creatures is manifold and divided. —Thomas Aquinas [1]

Without a sense of the inherent sacredness of the world—of every tiny bit of life and death—we struggle to see God in our own reality, let alone to respect reality, protect it, or love it. The consequences of this ignorance are all around us, seen in the way we have exploited and damaged our fellow human beings, animals, the web of growing things, land, water, and even air.

If Christianity would have paid attention to the teachings and example of Jesus and Francis of Assisi, our planet—“Mother Sister Earth,” as Francis called her—would perhaps be much healthier today. We have not honored God’s Presence as the Christ in the elemental, physical world. We made God as small as our own constricted hearts. We picked and chose, saying, “Oh, God is really only in my group, in baptized people, in moral people, etc.” Is there that little of an Infinite God to go around? Do we have to be stingy with God? As Isaiah put it “the arm of God is not too short to save!” (59:1). Why pretend only we deserve God, and that God is not for other groups, religions, animals, plants, the elements, Brother Sun, and Sister Moon?

God is saving creation and bringing all creatures back where they began—into union with their Creator. God loves everything that God has made! All created things God proclaimed “good” (see Genesis 1:9–31 and Wisdom 11:24–12:1). But we, with our small minds, can’t deal with that. We have to whittle God and love into small parts that our minds can handle and portion out. Humans can’t conceptualize or even think infinite or eternal concepts. We cannot imagine Infinite Love, Infinite Goodness, or Infinite Mercy.

We don’t come to the Christ Mystery through concepts or theories but by connecting with what is—with Christ’s immediate, embodied presence which is all around us. Notice that almost all of Jesus’ stories and examples are nature- and relationship-based—never once academic theory.

We have not recognized the one Body of Christ in creation. Perhaps we just didn’t have the readiness or training. There is first of all the seeing, and then there is the recognizing; the second stage is called contemplation. We cannot afford to be blind any longer. We must learn to see and recognize how broad and deep the Presence is if we are to truly care for our common home.

References:
[1] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I.47.1.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe (Convergent: 2019), 18; and

Richard Rohr: Essential Teachings on Love, ed. Joelle Chase and Judy Traeger (Orbis Books: 2018), 26-27.

For Further Study:
Richard Rohr: Essential Teachings on Love, ed. Joelle Chase and Judy Traeger (Orbis Books: 2018)

Richard Rohr, The Cosmic Christ (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2009), CD, MP3 download

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

Image credit: Monhegan, Maine (detail), Nicholas Roerich, 1922, International Centre of the Roerichs Museum, Moscow, Russia.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: In the beginning was the Cosmic Blueprint (“Logos”), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. —John 1:1-5
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