A July Reflection

By Jillian Langford

I am the daughter of a newspaper copy editor. Growing up with a father whose job it was to literally read the newspaper front to back everyday meant that my own childhood was filled with conversations about current events, politics, and news about the world. It was not uncommon to find articles on the same topic from three or four different news sources on the kitchen table in the morning, each showing a different perspective or angle.

I was fortunate to grow up in a family that valued and acknowledged differences. Even if my dad preferred one news outlet to another, he instilled in me the importance of looking at the same story from a different perspective. Only when seeing the story from multiple angles can we see the full picture.

Although I was raised learning to see different perspectives, especially when it comes to the news, I cannot help but find myself prone to anger and frustration by the headlines I read on my phone each morning, and the podcasts that report the division occurring in my country and the world. Although I continue to do my best to see both sides of the same story, I find myself seeing anger, frustration, and even hate from both sides, no matter where I look. Seeing my friends and family debating one another online, protesting in the streets while others celebrate, and mixing mourning with celebration has left me finding it harder to see the whole picture, and wanting to just throw in the towel and pick “my side” to fight on.

These headlines, and our reactions to them, reveal that we are living in a deeply divided culture. Division leaves us filled with frustration, anger, and hopelessness. This is because our world is not meant to be fractured and divided, but the very evolutionary nature of the cosmos points to fulfillment from movement toward a deeper union in love.

In her most recent article for the Center for Christogenesis website, ‘Gun Violence and Technology,’ Ilia Delio wrote: “The world is in process of becoming something more than what it is, but it takes a conscious awareness of belonging to the cosmic whole in order to help creatively evolve towards greater wholeness.  We cannot begin to know this wholeness if we are constantly distracted, self-promoting and self-justified in every thought and action.  If we do not contribute to the ongoing evolution of the whole, in which God is the vitalizing center, we will be its breakdown.”

In the midst of deep division, it is easy for our first reaction to be anger. While these emotions can certainly feel justified given the circumstances, what is even more necessary than immediate emotional response is deep thought that leads to actions that facilitate wholeness and complexity. Teilhard de Chardin wrote about how persons are evolution become conscious of itself. In and through deep thought, not only do we reflect on the world in its current state, but we are able to begin seeing the whole and contributing to the creation of the universe through our reflections. If Teilhard is right, and we are truly evolution becoming conscious of itself, our actions, responses, and emotions play a role in the formation and evolution of the world as we know it. Our task, especially when navigating the sea of ominous headlines, is to reflect, think deeply, and direct our lives toward the wholeness that we see lacking around us as evolution conscious of itself. Only then can we act as co-creators together with God in an evolving world, and realize the wholeness for which we are longing.

Read Ilia’s recent article as referenced: “Gun Violence and Technology” – Click here.

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New Creation is the Center for Christogenesis online magazine dedicated to deepening our awareness of God, Cosmos, and Humanity in a scientific age.

Ω Vision and Ω Spirit cover questions of the theology and spirituality of the Center for Christogenesis worldview. Other areas include our What is God Today? video series, the Visio Divina image gallery, a Resources section with videos and PowerPoints, and the latest from Ilia Delio.

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What is God Today? is an Center for Christogenesis video series featuring interviews with Ilia Delio on the meaning of the divine in the 21st century and what God is doing in our midst. Watch the Series

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A love letter to Ilia and Peirre Teilhard de Chardin Dear Ilia, I am so grateful to have found your books, your website, the Omega community and you, the prophet. Of course none of this was accidental. It all started with a car accident on my 21st birthday in 1968. I was driving alone at night, back to my job as a junior housemistress in a rural boarding school in Australia. Only my knee was badly injured in the accident but when I regained consciousness in the ambulance, I was aware of a terrible pain in my chest (bruising from the impact against the steering wheel before seat belts) as I struggled to breathe, it crossed my mind that I might be dying. I remember clearly thinking ‘what did the nuns teach us to do when one is dying?’. I was feeling pretty panicky by now and said the ‘Our Father’ as I was praying I relaxed with great relief because I knew from that moment (since never waived in my whole body conviction), that I actually, after all that teenage angst and doubt , did believe in God and more importantly that he/she believed in me. It was the greatest birthday gift I could have wished for . However it took about 15 years of ‘unfolding’’ to recognise the giftedness of this experience. The freedom of discovering that “faith” is not a noun but a verb of growing and becoming has given me licence to come and go, explore here and there, on and off. From Liberation theology, to the feminist project, sojouning with protestant friends and projects in social justice and ecological activism to Francis’ Laudato Si, the testament in scripture and finally home to the cosmic Christ and Teilhard de Chardin. Recently I get quite giddy, or ‘tipsy’, in awe and wonder at evolutionary creation and sometimes can cry at the privilege of being part of it. When I see an ant, busy about its business, or a weed struggling between the paving stones, I say to them,’even to be one of you would have been a great gig in this universe!, but to be chosen to be human through chance and natural selection, at this time of internet and DNA, to live in this country of security and more than my needs, to be a woman, a mother, grandmother and to have reached this consciousness of ’ unbearable wholeness’ and all that that means takes my breath away, like a car crash! Just one question. I don’t believe in “supernatural” any more. Is that heresy? The more I read about evolutionary biology and ponder on its implications for an evolutionary chistology, the more it seems to me that from the sub atomic to the cosmic scale, natural creativity, interconnectivity, communication networks, diversity, regeneration: have it all in hand. Thus the concept of ’super-nature’ is a tautology. I hope humanity can redeem itself, so that homo sapiens can continue to evolve into communities of healing and peace, but if not, then the infinite impulse will mourn the suffering and loss, but life is’ immortal and love is eternal’ (Bede Jarret) Resurrection goes on in the now, on the cusp of creating the future. Many thanks for your website. People like me need your company and inspiration. Patricia
Patricia Devlin
Monasterevin, co.Kildare.Ireland, AK
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