Thursday, December 11, 2014

"God Is Always New" by Sister Delio, "God drawing the world from up ahead..."

..."Teilhard perceived an entangled presence of divine newness with Big Bang evolution which he called “God-Omega” and spoke of evolution as a dynamic process of creativity, novelty and future. At one point he wrote, “The whole universe rests on the future as its sole support.” That is, the universe rests on the eternal newness of God. Theologian Paul Tillich said that divine life and divine creativity are one and the same thing. The divine life is essentially creative and actualizes itself in inexhaustible abundance. God is always new; life is always new. Every end is a new beginning and every arrival, a new departure. There are no dead ends in life unless we ourselves die in despair.Teilhard’s insight on divine newness undergirds the virtue of hope, especially in a world that knows so much violence, hatred and division. As creatures in evolution, we are not defined by our divisions but by our creativity and openness to deepened relationships and more unified life. The monotheistic faiths still linger with Aristotle; they are still enamored with “being” and “substance,” “matter” and “form...”

" Many mystics throughout the centuries, like Teilhard, however, seem to dispense with scholastic constraints. Rather than deciphering philosophical arguments, God is simply love or love-energy; love that is absolutely self-communicative, other-centered, intrinsically relational, utterly faithful and always new. Teilhard said that theology has thought of God too much in terms of a prime mover moving things from the past. Evolution impels us to think of God as drawing the world from up ahead; God is the power of the future. Hence, God cannot be defined by the past, only by the future because God is ever newness in love.
If religions are to contribute to a more unified, just and peaceful world they must do so by creating a new future together. Can we imagine a new type of religious being or new forms of religious life or perhaps new religion itself? In a world of quantum possibilities and an expanding universe, future has an endless horizon. The religious dimension of our existence is simply the deep, intrinsic longing for absolute unity, beyond heaven and earth, a stretching forth into the incomprehensible love-energy that is God. How we harness this energy for a deepening of life ahead is the religious question of our age. It takes an inner freedom born of grace to let go into the new but the new is God and God is future. We are called to a radical trust in the future."
[Ilia Delio, OSF, a Sister of St. Francis of Washington, D.C., is Haub Director of Catholic Studies and Visiting Professor at Georgetown University. Her recent publications include From Teilhard to Omega: Cocreating an Unfinished Universe and The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution and the Power of Love.]

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