Our Work in Co-Creating — Center for Action and Contemplation

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Our Work in Co-Creating

Creation: Week 2

Our Work in Co-Creating
Friday, February 23, 2018

The Great Work now . . . is to carry out the transition from a period of human devastation of the Earth to a period when humans would be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner. —Thomas Berry [1]

Again, I offer insights from the late theologian Beatrice Bruteau:

In the case of the cosmos, we can say that God as Creator is incarnate as self-creating universe, including self-creating creatures within that universe. . . . Creativity itself is what is evolving in the cosmos, and we are the growing edge as the Trinitarian Life Cycle moves from Transcendent to Incarnate to Realized. We are in a position to realize ourselves as incarnate divine creativity. This has two effects.

It makes the whole thing intensely meaningful. The universe is not some blind and uncaring organization of atoms. . . . It can easily be seen as a gigantic artwork, full of whatever it is that comes out as “feeling” when it becomes incarnate. We are part of this, creative contributors to this.

And this is the other effect: we bear some responsibility. We have to take our part in the work. We, for instance, are now in a position to do something about all the suffering. . . . We are agents within the system and can have causal effects on other parts of the system. We have intelligence, we have empathy and capacity to feel for others and to care about them, we even have insight into the Ground present in every being and calling for an appropriate form of absolute respect.

What will we do? . . . What does “God want us to” do? Not a good way of putting the question, because it distances God from the world, but the answer I propose is Be! Be creative, be interactive, be agape, give being, unite, be whole, be in every possible way, be new. The self-creating world is unpredictable. It’s like a musician’s improvisation. . . . But the artwork will always resemble the artist. So the cosmos will somehow be like the Trinity, the vast Person-Community that is Agape, inter-being. . . .

Does the contemplative have some special role? I say to the contemplative: Feel at home in the universe, study it, try to understand at least some of its innumerable marvels, including ourselves who are more and more capable of this understanding—marvel at that! Rejoice in the cosmos. In spite of all its hurtful ways, look at what it has done, is doing, is capable of doing. . . . And be active in it, contribute to it, participate in the building, in the artwork, in the healing, in the understanding. This is where Reality is. You yourself are both a member of the Finite and a member of the Infinite. You are a participant in the Trinitarian Life Cycle, for you are doing the incarnating and the creating and the realizing and the rejoicing. God’s ecstasy creates the world, and the world’s ecstasy realizes God.

[1] Thomas Berry, The Great Work: Our Way into the Future (Three Rivers Press: 1999), 3.

Beatrice Bruteau, God’s Ecstasy: The Creation of a Self-Creating World, (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 2016, © 1997), 178, 179. Emphasis mine.

Image credit: Winter Leaf II: CAC Gardens (detail), by Nicholas Kramer.
The Divine Presence is happening in, through, and amidst every detail of life . . . penetrates all that exists. Everything in virtue of coming into existence is in relationship to this Source. Thomas Keating
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