July 22, 2012

The Emergent Christ

These are the waning hours of the out-of-state portion of my formal preparation for final vows.  I leave Concordia, Kansas early tomorrow for the trek home.  I have been here in Concordia since the 11th of July, first for an eight-day, silent, directed retreat and then for a theological institute with Ilia Delio, OSF around the content of her book The Emergent Christ.  It was an awesome three days of input and sharing.  It will take months if not longer to integrate what she presented with what I already know and believe.  I know I won't be able to accurately and completely share the material, but I'll give you a quick summary through the lens of Sarah.

Ilia is a scientist by initial profession later turned theologian.  She is very passionate about her work of bringing Christ alive through science.  I, too, love science, so to have pieces of my faith explained through concrete, biological, universal processes was good for me.  I know it might not be good for all, so take whatever in my summary makes sense and know all of this is still fresh and in process in me.

I suppose what Ilia sees as the basic direction of the cosmos would be nothing different than what most already hold, especially CSSJs with the charism of Loving God and Neighbor Without Distinction.  Ilia sees the whole purpose of creation as evolving towards loving unity.  God is described as love.  Love needs the other in order to be Love.  So, God created the cosmos.  Christ, unity in love, is the purpose of creation from its creation.  Matter is mass energy.  Energy is neither created nor destroyed.  We have now the same amount of mass and energy as we always have.  Thus, death, is a necessary part of creation, for without death, there can literally be no new life.  Jesus' life was the birth of a new consciousness, an arrow of evolution, an example pointing the way to this Christic love.  Even sin had a biological origin.  What we might see as sin in humans we might see as a method of survival in plants or animals, for example, a plant pushing out another for resources.  The difference is that as humans, we have choice.  Ilia ended today with a summary of how technology is driving evolution.  Technology can be helpful to the Christ project when it moves us towards greater consciousness and relationship, not when it isolates.  So, she says, the entire cosmos is an expression of Love, and God needs us to evolve creation towards deeper love in unity.

This is the barest of barest bones summary of fifteen hours of direct instruction from a passionate, brilliant, funny, Sister of the cosmos who feels very called to share her message of Christ in Evolution (the title of another of her books).

I almost don't know what else to write.  I know I can't put into words the gift of this time, the depth of the experiences, the hopes that I have moving forward.  I do know that I am grateful that my vow preparations are not over.  I will continue in a formal, very conscious way to see how else I might open myself wider and wider between now and vows.  And, I am even more excited to know that that opening will never end.  I have an entire life of evolving in consciousness, of loving and being loved, of living daily in wonder and awe and sharing all of that with others.  So, I don't think I'll write any more tonight.  I'll just see what tomorrow will bring.

In peace, joy, and gratitude--Sarah

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I had not heard of the work of Ilia Delio. Thank you for sharing about it; I'll have to check it out.

    Hopefully, you have reached home, and are enjoying good reunions with friends.