The Omega Challenge

The Omega Challenge:

In a recent letter to the Omega community, Ilia challenged us all with questions that center on one big question: Who and What is God? Please read her prompts and share your thoughts, experiences, and musings in the comment area below, as together we explore an understanding of the evolving God emerging anew in our midst:

  • How do you experience God in this moment?  What is God for you?
  • How can you deepen your consciousness of the divine milieu in our complex, fragmented world today, a consciousness that in every encounter, there is an excess of being, an overflow of reality that evades our complete grasp; an excess of being which is God?

 

 

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21 Comments

  1. jenwatesJenifer Wates on July 10, 2019 at 6:08 am

    I see ‘God’ as the energy manifest in all creation, and the dynamic behind the drive of all things towards greater fullness of being – personalised in the flow of love experienced in prayer.



  2. George R Gerardi on July 10, 2019 at 6:41 am

    We look for God in the trees but He is in the forest from which it came.We look for God in our fellows yet he is the one who looks at our fellows: God is in the seeker who searches for God. We look for God as an object when God is the subject. To deny His existence is to deny our existence.



  3. Donal O’Farrell on July 10, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Perhaps I experience God as awareness, an awareness of being experienced by God, of being held in loving awareness…

    *
    God is not an argument to be won, not a war to be fought,…
    If God is love we can only surrender.



  4. Peter Sloan on July 10, 2019 at 7:06 am

    Well, any deepening has to have some intentionality to it on my part. I have to make time for God so as not to be one who ‘takes Him for granted.’ I have to do something that prioritizes the ‘I-Thou’ relationship and creates room for good stuff to happen.I like to start the day with Scripture. It’s a modest thing but I fancy that it partly inoculates me from the coming day’s assault on faith & reason. Also, I try to remember to ask for wisdom and understanding. And, as silly as it may sound, to remember to b-r-e-a-t-h-e.



  5. Mary Ann Blank on July 10, 2019 at 9:58 am

    I experience God in enjoying all things that surround me-nature, family and friends.
    To me, God is the loving force of creation. The essence of how we live and are. God is all and in all. God is being itself.
    I pray-intercessory and centering prayer.
    I read-need to read more. I breathe and know God is always with me.
    Blessings, Mary Ann



  6. vera dahm, phd on July 10, 2019 at 10:28 am

    I have needed to have a better experience of God…and finally at 77 I have settled on a great Being..yes permeating everything…but one greater than…say me or a leader..and from this I originated…and yes will return…and why I am here is to learn and to use free will and see what that means in the bigger picture…not clear yet..but what I can hang on to right now…otherwise all the suffering I have is just hell…and I have a lot as do many around me and on the planet…
    I have read many of your books and many of the others you quoted…but I needed something to hold onto and not just words and energy..and the expansion…
    vera



  7. Alan Sage on July 10, 2019 at 10:37 am

    I am constantly reminded of Teilhard’s Divine Milieu when thinking about God; God is precisely the presence within which we live and which is more than we can imagine and greater than we can hope for. This limitless presence can never be fully appreciated or encompassed by our human minds but offers a presence and future which is ultimately our fulfilment. Catholic theology is still encumbered with a static universe world view within which God is objectified as ‘out there or beyond our grasp’; it also ignores the symbolic meaning and reality of theological discourse and the biblical story of creation- incarnation- resurrection which Teilhard so brilliantly understood and expressed. In my own understanding God is the meaning of everything and that in which we are totally fulfilled beyond our imagination. We need to acknowledge this presence in ourselves and in our world and give ourselves completely to this presence in a complete act of faith and love. Faith is not about heaven or our future it is about now and this reminds us that we are not preparing for a future so much as fulfilling our role in Gods continuing presence. The created universe has ultimate meaning and value and is not just the backdrop to human salvation. Our commitment to humanity and the created universe and its future is what matters for it is our response to the loving creative divine initiative. Would that Catholic theology could share the Teilhardian vision – this would do more for evangelisation than all the initiatives taken so far.



    • Diane Wood on July 10, 2019 at 11:54 am

      Yes, a thousand times, yes! How can we retell the Christian story with its (original) vision of inclusion and unity, of love and hope at least as vast as our ever-increasing understanding of the universe?



  8. Diane Wood on July 10, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Ilia, thank you for your tremendous work! I met you a few years ago at Union Seminary when you gave the talk for the American Teilhard Association.

    Last fall, I completed my master’s degree with thesis on ” A Divine Milieu for a ‘Naufrage’: Teilhard’s Sacred Ontology as Spirituality for the 21st Century in Quebec and Other Secular Societies.”
    I am working on a book on the practice of divine reality and would love to contribute in some way to the Omega Center.

    I experience God as the life force of love and creative connection, transcendent and incarnate, completely ‘other’ and yet ‘person’ and within. I want to write about connections. I want to offer simple spiritual exercises that cultivate a deeper ‘seeing’ of and participation in our divine reality. The way I begin is with contemplation on the uncountable billions of events and unions, historic and ongoing, that make up the systems of systems that are my own physical, mental, and spiritual being. It is awe-inspiring, humbling, and gratitude-evoking! Now, do that with the cosmos…



  9. Father Thomas Hughes,OSB on July 10, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    Divine radiance pulsates within every scintilla of existence found in every particle of space time.

    Sentient beings are fully involved at depth by their very nature’s. Seeming separation is illusory. All Creation is one!

    Divine Radiance pulsates in all from the tiniest to that which engulfs multiple heavens all about Universe itself. You

    Father Thomas Hughes, OSB



  10. Dan Frachey on July 10, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    I experience God as the small fish that swims in the vast ocean which is God who is life, sustenance and home. I only see a little of the vastness but what I see allows me to feel unique and beloved as I behold the immensity and grandeur. It is at times frightening and yet sweetly familiar, wondrous and altogether affirming. My Franciscan heart urges me to respond to this milieu in moments of sacred particularity. This means orienting my senses to hear the bird song as I walk into work with a myriad of tasks awaiting me. This bids me to stop and gaze into another’s eyes who longs to be received and validated in a spiritual direction session. This orientation causes me to get on the carpet after returning home from work to let my chihuahuas lick my salty forehead. Yes, all of these little responses are occurring as the world spins in tumult and agony. I know that I have met God amidst these realities by paying attention to the birds, my directee and my dogs. Responding in the micro allows me then to manifest love in the macro.



  11. Judi Pasino on July 10, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    I have come to believe that “God” is an energy of Love that pervades all of Reality, and that we need only open our consciousness to be immersed in it. This is not a sentimental Love, but one that nudges us in the direction of compassion, mercy, and justice.

    The only way I know to deepen my consciousness/awareness of this Love is by dedicating time to sit with and in it. That dedicated time enlightens me (to the degree that I am able to absorb it) to this indescribable Reality that my rational mind typically pushes to the periphery. Sitting in silent prayer brings it to the center for me, at least for the time when I am in that space. While there, I have been graced with experiences that defy verbal description but which also point me in the direction of living in Love. When I leave my prayer space, I take my newfound knowledge of this Reality with me, and strive to bring it into every encounter I have with creation and other humans…though at this point in my spiritual development I rarely succeed in remembering! It has been a challenging journey to undertake, but the wondrous moments have made and continue to make it worthwhile.



  12. Virginia Kaiser on July 10, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    What a simple question. I sit and try to formulate an answer and determine it is beyond me. I know that I know that I just don’t know what I am experiencing. Maybe both a beautiful longing and forfillment. I wait in contentment for the answers.



  13. Debbie on July 11, 2019 at 5:32 am

    Right now I experience God in quiet and as Quiet. And He encompasses and embraces all in Himself. If you could look into His eyes, you would see all of creation.

    Probably contemplative prayer is how He can make us more aware. He could reach us with His Quiet in quiet. Of course, God can do that in whatever way He chooses to at any time!



    • Judi Pasino on July 11, 2019 at 11:02 am

      Debbie, I love this: “If you could look into His eyes, you would see all of creation.” When I imagine doing just that, it feels so loving.



  14. Patricia Layden on July 11, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Yes!



  15. Phil Robers on July 11, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    I have been experiencing God through interbeing with other people. We are all Christ and somehow dwell in one another through the wonder of consciousness even when we are physically separated by distance or death. I am able to be realize the uniqueness and beauty of my soul when God’s love flows to me through another being. My ability to love another and affirm them through mirroring is the greatest power I because it continues the process of creation. We are food for each other.

    I have been haunted by the words of Howard Thurman since I first heard them a few months ago: “Now if I hear the sound of the genuine in me, and if you hear the sound of the genuine in you, it is possible for me to go down in me and come up in you. So that when I look at myself through your eyes having made that pilgrimage, I see in me what you see in me and the wall that separates and divides will disappear and we will become one because the sound of the genuine makes the same music.”



    • Judi Pasino on July 12, 2019 at 10:45 am

      Phil, thank you for sharing these beautiful reflections, especially Howard Thurman’s. They speak so eloquently of “interbeing” (a new word for me!) and have given me fodder for the spirit as I contemplate the connection of consciousness with other beings.



  16. Bernie B on July 13, 2019 at 10:53 am

    God and universe?…What is God for you? Do any of us know? Soon after the Big Bang, primordial protons and neutrons formed from the quark–gluon plasma of the early Universe as it cooled below two trillion degrees. A few minutes later, in a process known as Big Bang nucleosynthesis, nuclei formed from the primordial protons and neutrons…. said the scarecrow and still it is all a mystery. So now the question of “God” (with a big G, a little g, or goddess, first cause, or one without a second, take your pick) the creator of the universe ….not sure what God is for me personally in or out of “the moment”… I guess if we look at how science tells us the universe works, how it evolves how it flared forth with a Big Bang… how things implode and explode all the time… expansion contraction, then I guess If the universe was created by God, God would kill us just as soon as look at us. I’m just happy to be here in the moment at all.



  17. John Ferro on July 14, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    In my small view of existence, God is the essence of Being. I respond to God by living in gratitude to all that is. This requires my poor attempt at being open to all that happens in my awareness from one moment to the next, free of judgement. “I abandon myself to your will oh God, do with me what you want, for I love You.”



  18. Sonia Azzopardi on July 15, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    At the moment I experience God as Spirit, energy and as being everywhere; in me and around me and in every part of the Universe.
    For me God is LOVE. He/she/it is not about religion but about LOVE and LOVE is God.
    I am aware that there is a shift in the world going on…and a shift in me too…and so awareness, meditation and guidance to move forward in my path



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