Freitag, 6. November 2015

The Cosmic Christ - von Richard Rohr


aus den daily meditations von Richard Rohr
Friday, November 6, 2015 
John Duns Scotus (1265/66-1308), who made the Franciscan intuition into a philosophy, said Christ was the very first idea in the mind of God, and God, as it were, has never stopped thinking, dreaming, and creating the one, eternal Christ. "The immense diversity and pluriformity of this creation more perfectly represents God than any one creature alone or by itself," adds Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) in his Summa Theologica(47:1). [1]
 
Ilia Delio describes the dance between God and the universe: "God is eternal, self-sufficient divinity; yet the universe contributes something that is vitally necessary to God. Creation is integral to God. It contributes to God what God lacks in his[/her] own divinity, namely, materiality. Evolution is not only the universe coming to be, but it is God who is coming to be." [2]
 
Some Christians are uncomfortable with the idea of evolution, although it's rather impossible to deny the fossil record. Perhaps they are afraid to allow themselves to go beyond a very literal reading of the Bible. Or perhaps they feel God is being replaced by scientific and natural laws. They may feel like evolution somehow takes away human dignity. But think about it: we all come from the same origin, the same God. Who else created the natural laws or the ability of scientists to discover scientific laws? And doesn't it make sense that God would create things that create themselves? As Delio points out, Teilhard de Chardin "said that evolution imparts a new identity to the human person; we are the arrow of evolution and the direction of its future." [3] We are co-creators with God, in however minor a way. Delio writes: "Evolution discloses a new God, an immanent-transcendent fullness of love that inspires us to create anew, a new earth with a new God rising from within. . . . Evolution is 'wholemaking' in action, the rise of consciousness that realizes self-separateness is an illusion." [4]
 
For many of us, it's hard to imagine that God is actually evolving. We've heard that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). Yes, and God is love, and God has always been love, and God will always be love. But God can also evolve to be more love! Surely you've noticed that it's the most loving people you know who want to be more loving. That's just the character of love--it's always expansive and multiplies itself.
 
When we trust that our world and our own selves are evolving, we don't have to cling so tightly to everything being just so, to being correct and in control. God is not static, and neither is our universe. It is ever changing, with the possibility--through our participation--of evolving toward greater love and wholeness. But this outcome isn't guaranteed. Mary Evelyn Tucker and Brian Swimme caution and encourage us:
 
Our sense of the whole is emerging in a fresh way as we feel ourselves embraced by the evolutionary powers unfolding over time into forms of ever-greater complexity and consciousness. We are realizing too, that evolution moves forward with transitions, such as the movement from inorganic matter to organic life and from single celled organisms to plants and animals that sweep through the evolutionary unfolding of the universe, the Earth, the human. All such transitions come at times of crisis; they involve tremendous cost, and they result in new forms of creativity. The central reality of our times is that we are in such a transition moment. This is not an easy moment as already human suffering and environment loss are widespread. It is not a guaranteed transition, as it will require tremendous human creativity, emotional intelligence, and spiritual strength. [5]
 
Yes, you are the "Second Coming of Christ"!

Mittwoch, 4. November 2015

The Cosmic Christ


The Cosmic Christ 
aus den daily meditations von Richard Rohr
Thursday, November 5, 2015 
Franciscan mysticism has a unique place in the world through its absolutely Christocentric lens, although the Franciscan emphasis is actually nothing more nor less than the full Gospel itself. Most Christians know about Jesus of Nazareth, but very few know about the Christ, and even fewer were ever taught how to put the two together (which we are trying to do in these meditations). Many still seem to think that Christ is Jesus' last name. By proclaiming my faith in Jesus Christ, I have made two acts of faith, one in Jesus and another in Christ. The times are demanding this full Gospel of us now.
 
Though it overlaps with many aspects of non-Christian mysticism--such as nature mysticism, Islamic Sufi mysticism (ecstasy and joy), Hindu mysticism (unitive consciousness and asceticism), Buddhism (non-violence and simplicity), and Jewish prophetic oracles--Franciscan mysticism is both deeply personal and cosmic/historical at the same time. [1] We must know that Franciscanism is not primarily about Francis of Assisi. It is about God, and the utter incarnate availability of God. In fact, when some fixate on Francis and Clare too long their spirituality invariably becomes sentimental, cheap, and harmless. Franciscan mysticism is about an intuition of Jesus as both the Incarnate Human One and the Eternal Cosmic Christ at the same time.(For a deeper exploration of the Cosmic Christ, see my meditations from earlier this year.) [1] 
 
The first and cosmic incarnation of the Eternal Christ, the perfect co-inherence of matter and Spirit (Ephesians 1:3-11), happened at the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago. Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the human incarnation of that same Mystery a mere 2,000 years ago, when we were perhaps ready for this revelation. Christ is not Jesus' last name, but the title of his historical and cosmic purpose. Jesus presents himself as the "Anointed" or Christened One who was human and divine united in one human body--as our model and exemplar. Peter seems to get this, at least once (Matthew 16:16), but like most of the church, he also seems to regress. Christ is our shortcut word for "The Body of God" or "God materialized." [2] This Christ is much bigger and older than either Jesus of Nazareth or the Christian religion, because the Christ is whenever the material and the divine co-exist--which is always and everywhere.
 
Ilia Delio writes, "The conventional visualization of the physical world was changed by Einstein's special theory of relativity, which showed that matter itself was a form of energy. . . . For all practical purposes, energy is the 'real world.'" [3] There it is: science revealing that everything is both matter and energy/spirit co-inhering as one; this is a Christocentric world. This realization changes everything. Matter has become a holy thing and the material world is the place where we can comfortably worship God just by walking on matter, by loving it, by respecting it. The Christ is God's active power inside of the physical world. [4]
 
Delio continues: "Through his penetrating view of the universe Teilhard found Christ present in the entire cosmos, from the least particle of matter to the convergent human community. 'The Incarnation,' he declared, 'is a making new . . . of all the universe's forces and powers.' Personal divine love is invested organically with all of creation, in the heart of matter, unifying the world." [5] 

For many years, imitating Teilhard de Chardin, I used to end my letters with his own complementary close, "Christ Ever Greater!" This had little to do with my hopes for the expanding of organized Christianity, not that there is anything wrong with that. I think we are all sad to admit that organized Christianity has often resisted and opposed the true coming of the Cosmic Christ. The coming of the Cosmic Christ is not the same as the growth of the Christian religion. It is the unification of all things.