Sunday, February 25, 2018
Karl Rahner said that we are “pressured” from within to evolve. That pressure is what we have always called the Holy Spirit. And the Spirit is creatively at work in this moment, urging us to evolve, to become a new kind of human being such as the world has rarely seen before. But what has been rare must now become commonplace. —Judy Cannato 
Science today—particularly physics, astrophysics, anthropology, and biology—is confirming many of religion’s deep intuitions. The universe is not inert, but is “inspirited matter.” We might call this driving force instinct, evolution, nuclear fusion, DNA, hardwiring, the motherboard, healing, growth, or springtime. Nature clearly renews itself from within. God seems to have created things that continue to create and recreate themselves from the inside out. A fully incarnate God creates through evolution.
The very meaning of the word universe is to “turn around one thing.” There is either some Big Truth in this universe, or it is an incoherent universe. We are hardwired for the Big Picture, for transcendence, for ongoing growth (another name for evolution), for union with ourselves and everything else.  Either God is for everybody and the divine DNA is somehow in all creatures, or this God is not God. Humans are driven, hopefully even drawn, toward ever higher levels of conscious union and the ability to include (to forgive others for being “other”). “Everything that rises must converge,” as Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) observed. .
Unfortunately, many people view God as a deity who tortures and excludes forever those people who don’t agree with “him” or get “his” name right. How could you possibly trust such a small God or ever feel loved, safe, and free? Jesus undid the stingy, violent view of God when he said, “You, evil as you are, know how to give good things to your children. . . . If you, then how much more, God!” (Matthew 7:11). The God I have met and been loved by is always an experience of “how much more!” 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.
For me, this wondrous universe cannot be an incoherent and accidental cosmos, nor can it be grounded in evil, although I admit that this intellectual leap and bias toward beauty is still an act of faith and trust. I further believe that a free and loving God desires our participation in co-creation. The Great Work is ours too.
 Judy Cannato, Field of Compassion: How the New Cosmology Is Transforming Spiritual Life (Sorin Books: 2010), ix-x.
 See Joseph Chilton Pearce, The Biology of Transcendence (Park Street Press: 2002); Andrew Newberg, Why God Won’t Go Away (Ballantine Books: 2002).
 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Future of Man (Image Books: 1964), 186.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life (Jossey-Bass: 2011), 93-94, 108-110.