This week I shared reflections from Franciscan scientist Ilia Delio and CAC’s core faculty member Cynthia Bourgeault.
“Shall we continue our medieval religious practices in a medieval paradigm and mechanistic culture and undergo extinction? Or shall we wake up to this dynamic, evolutionary universe and the rise of consciousness toward an integral wholeness?” —Ilia Delio (Sunday)
“Deep within we long for unity because, at the most fundamental level, we are already one.” —Ilia Delio (Monday)
“Life evolves toward ever-increasing wholeness and consciousness, and something more—love.” —Ilia Delio (Tuesday)
“From all eternity, God has sought to love another, to be love in another, and to be loved by the other forever—this other is the Christ who is the aim and purpose of this evolutionary universe.” —Ilia Delio (Wednesday)
“The mercy of God does not come and go, granted to some and refused to others. Why? Because it is unconditional—always there, underlying everything. It is literally the force that holds everything in existence, the gravitational field in which we live and move and have our being.” —Cynthia Bourgeault (Thursday)
“Mercy is the very heartbeat of God resonant in creation; the warmth that pulses through all things as the divine Mystery flows out into created form.” —Cynthia Bourgeault (Friday)
Practice: Loving Kindness
If the human race and so many other species are to survive, we must all come to understand a new cosmology, a story of identity and meaning that is grounded in our oneness. Of course, believing and being are two different things. To make this cosmology real and embodied, I invite you to practice the Buddhist meditation maitri. The quality of loving kindness is already within you, but if you don’t practice daily and deliberately, it is unlikely that a year from now you will be any more loving.
Begin by finding the place of loving kindness inside your heart (Christians might call this the indwelling Spirit).
Drawing upon this source of love, bring to mind someone you deeply care about, and send loving kindness toward them.
Now direct this love toward a casual friend or colleague, someone just beyond your inner circle.
Continue drawing from your inner source of loving kindness and let it flow toward someone about whom you feel neutral or indifferent, a stranger.
Remember someone who has hurt you or someone you struggle to like. Bless them. Send them your love.
Gather all these people and yourself into the stream of love and hold them here for a few moments.
Finally, let the flow of loving kindness widen to encompass all beings in the universe.
As you move into the world, find ways of extending loving kindness to yourself and others in practical ways. Remember that love is the very foundation of the universe. You are simply a conduit for the inflow and outflow of love.
Gateway to Silence: |
We live, move, and have our being in love.
For Further Study:
Rob Bell, Ilia Delio, Richard Rohr, CONSPIRE 2014: A Benevolent Universe (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2014), MP4 video download
Cynthia Bourgeault, Mystical Hope: Trusting in the Mercy of God (Cowley Publications: 2001)
Ilia Delio, The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution, and the Power of Love (Orbis Books: 2013)
Richard Rohr, Christ, Cosmology & Consciousness, (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2010), MP3 download