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The Blueprint of Creation

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Cosmic Christ: Week 1

The Bluprint of Creation
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

To be proclaimed a “Doctor of the Church” one’s teaching must be considered entirely reliable and orthodox. In Bonaventure’s world, the frame of reality was always big, inclusive, and hopeful. First of all, Bonaventure was profoundly Trinitarian; he saw love always and forever flowing in a positive and forward direction, just as between the three persons in whose image all is created (Genesis 1:26-27). Most of Christian history has not been Trinitarian except in name. Christians have largely worshipped Jesus extracted from the Trinity—and thus tried to define Jesus apart from the eternal Christ which he represented. Jesus then became more a harsh judge of humanity than a shining exemplar of all humanity and creation, “holding all things in unity” (see Colossians 1:17-20).

For both Francis and Bonaventure, God is not an offended monarch on a throne throwing down thunderbolts, but a “fountain fullness” that flows, overflows, and fills all things. Reality is thus participatory; it is love itself, not a mere Platonic world, an abstract idea, or a static impersonal principle. God as Trinitarian Flow is the blueprint and pattern for all relationships and all of creation.

Franciscan sister and scientist Ilia Delio writes:

[Bonaventure] grounded the incarnation in the Trinity itself, describing the Trinity as a communion of persons-in-love. The Father, he writes, who is without origin is fecund, overflowing goodness. The Son is that person eternally generated by the Father’s self-diffusive goodness. . . . As the total personal expression of the Father, the Son is Word, and as ultimate likeness to the Father, the Son is Image. The Son/Word is generated by the Father and with the Father generates the Spirit, who is that eternal bond of love between the Father and the Son. [1]

Try to think of this highly theological notion of “the Word” (Logos) as a Blueprint, maybe even the blueprint, because Christians believe that the inner reality of God became manifest in the outer world first in creation and later personally in Jesus. Here’s how I paraphrase the prologue to John’s Gospel (1:1-5), although I think it is actually the original meaning:

In the beginning was the Blueprint. The Blueprint was with God. The Blueprint was God. And all things came to be through this inner plan. No one thing came to be except through this universal plan. All that came to be thus had life in him.

Notice that God’s revelation has now become personalized as him. This great universal mystery since the beginning of time now becomes specific in the body and the person of Jesus. “And the Word was made flesh and lived among us. . . . No one has ever seen God. It is his Son nearest to the Father’s heart, who has made him known” (John 1:14, 18). That is the core of the Christian proclamation; all else follows from it.

Gateway to Silence:
In the beginning . . . and the end.

[1] Ilia Delio, Christ in Evolution (Orbis Books: 2008), 57-58.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Christ, Cosmology, & Consciousness: A Reframing of How We See (CAC: 2010), MP3 download.

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