×

By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.

Participating in Creation

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Evolution

Participating in Creation
Thursday, March 1, 2018

In her book, God’s Ecstasy: The Creation of a Self-Creating World, the little- known but outstanding theologian Beatrice Bruteau (1930-2014) makes some excellent points about why contemplatives ought to embrace evolution:

People who identify themselves as contemplatives may shy away from science for a number of reasons. . . . They may feel that it’s too impersonal, has no human warmth. It’s too technical, too abstract, doesn’t have immediate emotional appeal. . . .

Before we consider whether we are interested in the scientific study of this universe, let us ask whether God is “interested in” the universe, how it is structured, how it works, how it’s developing. If we believe in a Creator-God, who is still in the act of creating this universe, how can we pretend to be interested in God but not interested in what God is doing, in what (presumably) God is interested in? And if we were to attain our contemplative ideal of sharing in the divine life, would we not be sharing in the activity of creating the universe?

The conclusion seems to be that to share in the divine life I must accept the vocation of consciously living in this self-creating universe. . . . [This] means that I need to know something about the whole thing, how it works, how it’s moving, how to take my place in it, make my meaningful contribution to this general improvisation.

Joining in the creative work is really central to the whole contemplative enterprise. Cosmogenesis—the generation of the cosmos—can be seen, as Teilhard de Chardin saw it, as “Christogenesis,” the growth of the “ever greater Christ.” [1] This Christ has been “growing in stature and wisdom” (Luke 2:52; read “complexity and consciousness”) these last dozen or so billion years and is nowhere near finished yet.

So there are two motivations for including some knowledge of science in our contemplative lives: one, we need to understand God’s artistic work in order to appreciate it properly and relate lovingly to the Creator; two, we need to know something of the work in order to join it, to participate in creating the world from here on. This last is the real way of loving, that is, by joining in the life of the beloved.

References:
[1] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Letters from a Traveller (Harper & Row: 1962), 133, 305.

Beatrice Bruteau, God’s Ecstasy: The Creation of a Self-Creating World (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 1997), 11-12.

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
Join our email community

Sign-up to receive the Daily Meditations, featuring reflections on the wisdom and practices of the Christian contemplative tradition.


Hidden Fields

Find out about upcoming courses, registration dates, and new online courses.
Our theme this year is Nothing Stands Alone. What could happen if we embraced the idea of God as relationship—with ourselves, each other, and the world? Meditations are emailed every day of the week, including the Weekly Summary on Saturday. Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time.
In a world of fault lines and fractures, how do we expand our sense of self to include love, healing, and forgiveness—not just for ourselves or those like us, but for all? This monthly email features wisdom and stories from the emerging Christian contemplative movement. Join spiritual seekers from around the world and discover your place in the Great Story Line connecting us all in the One Great Life. Conspirare. Breathe with us.