Gratitude and Naming the Future

Dear Friends of the Omega Center,


First, I want to acknowledge those who responded to my last blog and, or, extended their prayers of support through an email or greeting card: a heartfelt “thank you.” Your prayers and words of support have been extremely comforting during this time of healing. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer and the energies of love. Praying for one another in the web of God’s entangled love is a way of participating together in the emerging wholeness of life, realizing that we do not suffer alone but in and with one another. Compassion, as the Buddha reminds us, is the ground of unity.

Healing from post-concussion syndrome can take several months and requires patience and perseverance. For me, the last month has forced me to slow down and savor the precious moments of life. The irony of this experience is that sometimes it takes a fall to stand upright again. Living in an information age, we readily get caught up in the swirling complexities of information permeating our lives: emails, news feeds, television, podcasts, phone calls, texts, tweets, etc. We are bombarded by the stuff of information beyond what our three-pound brains can adequately process. I think the constant need to be in motion is indicative of the mind looking for the heart. As a culture, we have abandoned the pure gift of divine love within each of us and devote ourselves to the gods of money, power, status, success and privilege, the false gods which can easily unravel us. As a result, we are often fatigued, disconnected, anxious and unable to cope with the little things of life.

There is no doubt the concussion rearranged my summer plans, confining me to home and local living; however, for the first time in many years, I am actually enjoying the summer months. Staying off the computer as a full- time occupation, resting in between activities and living in gratitude for the present gifts of life, I have found myself more relaxed, more patient, more compassionate and, despite, COVID-19, more joyful of what life can spontaneously bring in the moment.The words of Psalm 46:10 have been especially meaningful for me this summer: “Be still and know that I am God.”  Being still is not necessarily ceasing all activity; it is ceasing to play God by controlling every aspect of life.To be in the beingness of life’s moment is to realize the power of God’s love within, a power I experience as the infinite nearness of God.To realize I am not alone but entangled with God who is the breadth and depth of my life and who loves me in this moment, releases me from the need to control my destiny (of which I am often a prisoner), to let go, rest, relax, and awaken to the power of now. Only in the stillness of God’s in-dwelling love am I really free.

As I reflect on the community that is growing around the Omega Center, I am very grateful for your friendship and financial support. Our June drive exceeded our expectations. Every donation expressed a personal effort to support our work of expanding Teilhard’s vision and revitalizing religion in the 21st century, as the root of shared life. The work of the Omega Center is a co-creative work which means our vision is in continuous dialogue with science, culture, history and politics; an on-going negotiation of meaning and values that seeks to deepen and illuminate the living presence of God in evolution.

Several months ago, we were notified by another organization that the word “Omega” is a legal trademark of that particular organization; hence, we realized the need to change the name of our organization. While the term “Omega” reflects Teilhard’s vision, we also realize that the work of the Omega Center is building on Teilhard toward a new understanding of religion, complexity and evolution. Although I am a scholar of Teilhard, I have a particular vision that actually begins with Franciscan spirituality, in particular, the Scotistic notion that Christ is first in God’s intention to love and thus to create: creation and incarnation are intertwined. This “primacy of Christ” builds on Teilhard and expands in union with other writers, such as Whitehead, Rahner and Panikkar. Hence there is an Ilia Delio vision of theistic evolution emerging through the Omega Center, and a change in name will help give direction to this new vision. While we have not yet finalized the new name, it will likely begin with “The Ilia Delio Center,” followed by a description of the Center’s vision –- so stay tuned for what is to come!

For now, let us remain united in the power of God’s love, the One who is within us, around us and before us, a God who, in this moment of this life, is doing new things.

Blessings and peace,

Sr. Ilia

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  1. Mario G Alberico on July 28, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Your words are always a salve for my soul and help recalibrate what is important. Two of my many axioms may seem too simple, yet applies to your post. The first is that “Language is important” and next “The path to wisdom is the definition of terms” (from Plato). As you discern the change in name for the center a consideration may be to lead with the descriptor and follow with the reference to your name. This in no way is a reflection on you and is put forth in the spirit of ci-collaboration with a committed follower of yours and all the other great minds mentioned in the article. The use of Omega is so important, though, and would it be an option to use the name The Omega Point to precede your l’è? Please continue to be in the grip of God’s hum as you recover and your scripture reference reminds me that when Elijah ran into the mountains to avoid the wrath of Jezebel, his search for the Lord was found in a whisper, which demanded he bill still. As you said, it is not a passive stillness, yet an active silence. Peace be with you, Mario

  2. Joe Masterleo on July 28, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Much welcome news of your healing, Ilia. Thanks for the update. Endeavors of all kinds can indeed be a whirlwind whose tornadic pulls can shred a soul, pulling it away from its whole-making center. The Psalm rightly suggests that this still-point is the motionless axis on which all things at all scales pivot and revolve. Much healing, renewal and repose are to be found there. Such is akin to Teilhard’s notion of “centration,” the Omega Point at which all energies and disciplines bend and ultimately consummate in a unified field. We trust that your renewal thrust continues at the heart of the still-point, and will inspire a fitting replacement name for your work, one rich in meaning that looks back on cross-cultural traditions, and forward to their synthesis. Seems if notions of the Christ are understood, Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, first and last are essentially the same place, representing repetition, renewal, the eternal cycles of time and endless return. Makes me think of the Ouroboros, the image of a snake eating its tail. This iconography dates back thousands of years, and is embraced by multiple cultures. One is all. All is one. Seems that an Omega Point by any other name, religion or culture, still synthesizes the same.

  3. Chaplain Z on July 28, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    I smile in supportive, loving embrace. My entire spiritual belief shifted after my TBI, aka severe concussion, as well, because i too, fully surrendered and entered into the suffering and the Divine Mystery.

    I will invite you not to go the ego route of self-naming the Center. Retain the Cosmological, Alpha/Omega logo, and create a name to match (think outside the box). Maybe Cosmomega Center?

    Much healing love and hugs!

  4. Kay Jackson on August 1, 2020 at 7:39 am

    Kay you find your summer’s rest refreshing for mind-body- soul.. As with the preceding comments, I ,too, wonder about the ” name change”.
    The discovery of Teilhard, Franciscan Theology, the integration of love and the Christ energy in all as well as in “pushing” forward a forward a future which we are forever being pulled toward has been life-changing! My humble opinion, what if people need this site, do not know they need the site, do not recognize your name( I hate to admit this but I didn’t at first)- and miss this information?
    Is there a phrase or word which could be used such as ChristOmegacenter ? Just a thought.

  5. Mary Pat Jones on August 3, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    Dear Ilia, I am so grateful you have shared about your journey in recovery, and I continue to keep you in prayer.

    Yes, Teilhard, Rahner, Whitehead, and Panikkar absolutely are all incredibly gifted people who selflessly gave themselves through their gifts of translating into words the evolving truths they immersed their lives in. We are blessed that these works surpass their physical death, and leave us with a body of work to continually study and reflectively meditate on.

    Yes, your works need your name in front of them; for your work, like theirs transcends them as individuals while including an understanding of their life in time. They to lived in a swirling historical time that often did not accept their vision. It did not curtail them and many others like them from following through on the the calling they received just as you, yourself continue to receive the grace required to continue.

    I greatly value the Franciscan view that has always been so vital to your vision and yes I also look forward to a broadening vision of the primacy of Love through a Christ centered evolutionary vision, as this transcends and includes ALL.

    I admit, when I first opened to an Evolutionary Christ it took a while to process. While I have always seen Christ as ongoing pervasive Love, I still predominantly had the life of Jesus in Time as the beginning of Christianity. You helped me to grasp an awareness of the ongoing depth of the Mystery of Incarnation which has never been locked in Time.

    Thank you for all you have given. Take very good care of yourself and listen to your body.


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