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Center for Action and Contemplation

Science: Week 2 Summary

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Science: Week 2

Summary: Sunday, November 8-Friday, November 13, 2015

“The resurrection recapitulates the whole evolutionary emergent creation as a forward movement to become something new, a new heaven and a new earth.” —Ilia Delio (Sunday)

Science is finding that the world is an integrated whole rather than separated parts. (Monday)

“Interconnectedness lies at the core of all that exists.” —Ilia Delio (Tuesday)

The earth and its life systems, on which we all entirely depend, might soon become the very thing that will convert us to a simple lifestyle, to necessary community, and to an inherent and universal sense of reverence for the Holy. (Wednesday)

When people rest in love as their home base, they become quite usable by God, and their lives are filled with “quantum entanglements” that result in very real healings, forgiveness, answered prayers, and new freedom for those whom they include in the force field with them. (Thursday)

“If scientific cosmology gives us an understanding of the origins and unfolding of the universe, philosophical reflection on scientific cosmology gives us a sense of our place in the universe.” —Mary Evelyn Tucker and Brian Swimme (Friday)


Practice: Honoring Our Pain for the World

In our culture we are often too busy to truly lament and allow ourselves to experience grief for the suffering in our world. In our rush to fix problems, we neglect to give space and time for our wounds to teach us. Tears and rituals can help us process our subconscious, unnameable feelings. Joanna Macy offers two practices that I invite you try with others—maybe your family, a small group, or church.

I Don’t Care

To weep and rage over the conditions of our world can be a profound release. It can also cause some of us to wonder if we are being entirely honest. “If I care so damn much, why haven’t I done something about it?” And sometimes we simply do not feel deep emotions, so we can wonder if we are lacking in compassion, which leads to more numbness. In this exercise, exaggeration and humor help us move into honesty and presence.

In pairs, two people will take turns speaking and listening. Allow five minutes for each person to finish these sentences:

“I’m sick and tired of hearing about . . . .” Or “Don’t talk to me about . . . .”
“I don’t want to hear (or think) about all this, because it makes me feel . . . .”

The Bowl of Tears

Pour water into a clear glass bowl. Speak aloud to the group how this water represents our tears for the world and all beings. Invite each person, as they pass the bowl to each other or as they come and sit or kneel before it, to scoop up some water and let it trickle through their fingers. As they do, they can say: “My tears are for. . . .”

After each practice, spend some time in silent prayer or contemplation. At the close of your time together, invite each person to offer a word or phrase that expresses their desire and intention.

Gateway to Silence:
Co-creating wholeness

These practices are adapted from Joanna Macy’s “Work that Reconnects.” You can learn more at

For further study:
Richard Rohr, Ilia Delio, and Shane Claiborne, The Francis Factor: How Saint Francis and Pope Francis are changing the world (MP4 download)

Richard Rohr, A New Cosmology: Nature As the First Bible (MP3 download, CD)

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, editor, Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth

Mary Evelyn Tucker and Brian Swimme, Journey of the Universe

Image Credit: Hildegard von Bingen, “The Universe” (detail), Scivias Codex, c. 1165.
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