Someone asked me yesterday what "creation-centered" spirituality was. More specifically..."How can you believe in Christ and say you are creation-centered?"
I must admit, I am not sure at this point that befief in "Chirst" is what we have been asked of by the path that holds Jesus's teaches as Truth. Jesus was Jesus. When the Romans confiscated his driver's license, it didn't say Mr. Jesus Christ. Simply, Jesus, son of Mary and Joseph of Nazareth, who just happens to be a Son of God. That, I can buy.
The very fact of divinity incarnating into physical form - into creation - says it all. For God So Loved the World. When we can take the teachings out of the antropocentrism that we humans seem to be steeped in, then we can see with a clearer vision that divinity is not the possession of humans, but is divine through all of creation. The two leggeds, four leggeds, winged, mineraled, spacious and flowing. Divinity permeates all that we are and can be aware of. Simple as that. It is not a complicated thing.
Creation-Centered is, at it's most basic, Divine-Centered. Many poeple, especially the younger among us, see this as the most natural state. Those of us who are older and were brought up within paradigmatic thinking that says patriarchy and "power-over" dominance is the only true way of relating to the universe are slowly waking up to the reality that this paradigm has had its day.
And there IS a waking up going on. One sees it all the time. And it is exciting. But it is also challenging.
How do we understand the oneness of ourselves and Divinity when we are taught that God is up there and we are down here - and in all aspects of human existance, "up there" is far superior. That notion is everywhere. Glass ceiling, house on the hill, head in the clouds, whatever... You get what I mean.
What we are realizing now is this way of thinking and being is old hat. It simply does not work anymore. Earth is teaching us that now. And there are many who are listening. And it is this listening that will change us and move us into the emerging paradigm. From the cenozoic to the ecozoic.
So many are seeing things differently these days and wondering why they don't seem to fit in. It is partly because they have one or both feet in the new way. To be honest, that gives me great hope. And as I hope, as many hope, so the earth also hopes. Because, we are earth. We are also divine. Jesus taught us that. "The Reign of God is within you". He taught us also that the Holy Spirit, our teacher, is within us. Not bad, huh.
So if there is any wondering about what creation-centered is all about, it is simply that we cannot be spiritual beings in a physical body without being creation-centered. It is simply "how it is". For that, I am grateful.
Hi there! I realy enjoyed reading your post and it answered some questions that I was having. I am still unclear though how one can be Catholic without believing in literal ascrifice of Christ for the sins of the world. The entire Mass is centered on the Eternal Sacrifice of Christ. The foundation of the Church lies on the this sacrifice and apostalic succession and authority. There are some practices within the Church that I would have no problem seeing modified (or completely changed) but not the core doctrine of the Church. If one does not believe in this such fundamental doctrine (I am thinking mainly of salvation through Christ), why be Cathlolic? Why claim to be Christian for that matter? Why not just acknowledge Christ as an enlightened teacher and leave Catholisism? Please understand that I am genuinly curious as to why such a movement exists within the Church? My questions are not asked out of any form of malice. I hope that you realize this.
I too find a great deal of hope within the world today. I am encouraged by the open dialogue that occurs between the many religions and philosphies of this world. I find it amazing that people are willing to acknowledge that there is a univeral truth that exists within all cultures. I am thrilled that the Catholic Church is on the forfront of this movement.
I also acknowledge that great evils have been commited in the name of specific religious beliefs and philisophies and that these actions were not of God, regardless of which flag was flown. Noone can convince me that God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) was pleased, nor that these actions were of God. God wants us to unite as brothers and sisters, to see the universal truth, but as a Christian, I believe that the 'rallying point' is beneath the true banner of Christ.
Oh, last thought in my rambling post. I have been told my many of my Jewish friends that they were never taught that God was a man/male spirit/patriarchal force, that they were taught that God was God, period, neither male of female, but God. I need to research to confirm, but are you familiar with this? I was thinking about this a great deal last night and the possibility that God was masculinized for the sole purpose of power is troubling. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes to me that God is genderless. But wait... isn't God as a Father a part of core Catholic Doctine? Me oh my! Maybe I am the confused one. LOL ;)
Anyhoo, sorry for the long post and know that I wish all of you a very peaceful and blessed day.
I do realize there is no malice in your post. And you ask good questions. Thankfully, I am not a theologian, or you would be responded to with a manuscript of information both boring and not to the point...
I can only answer through my own heart. All of the organized religions, including our catholicism, was developed within the framwork of a paradigm that is of an earlier time. And they were fomualted from the perspective of primarily men seeking to understand divinity through their own eyes. Most of it is good. And we all, if we are honest, can admit that some of it is, well, not so good.
When we get beyond the words, feelings attitudes, polarities, dualisms, proclaimations, etc, then we are faced with the question - what is the true banner of Christ? We have many answers. Probably as many as there are denominations and congregations. But in our hearts. Deep down. In that place where words no longer suffice. There, we can seek the answer and it will not come in words, creeds, doctrine. It will come in the gentle way we understand core truths. We will simply know it to be true. I believe that is where Jesus was inviting us to meet him and know him. All else becomes matters of preference.
For me, that is Eucharist. The sacrifice of letting go of my assumptions, attitudes, convictions, all of the above - and seeing the divine incarnate. Eucharist is Thanksgiving. That deep encounter with Jesus is also thanksgiving. It does not rely on who's right or wrong, who is ordained or not, which group is more worthy and which group is not. It is simply love meeting Love.
The Catholic Church as an institution is undergoing transformation. And there is much healing needed. It's illness of power and priveledge is being drawn out by the hand of God and we are seeing the potential for great healing. And in the future, it will look differently than it does now. Just as today's Church looks quite different than yesterday's. It is my hope that Church will once again be synonymous with Gospel compassion and love.
So where does our loyalty lie? With a vibrant, ever-changing church where the People of God grow and evolve and come to know their creator more closely? or with that aspect of church that is decaying, stagnant in it's own lust for power and control, unwilling to see that it has lost the relevancy that Jesus so brought through his life and ministry. It is a hard question. Hard mostly because we were raised to be afriad of exploration; that if we "stray" outside the narrow bounds of what we were told is "holy", that we will surely ere and get our ticket to the fiery brimstone. And yet, Jesus' entire ministry was inviting people to look beyond the narrowness of the institutionalized religion of his day.
And again, the invitation is there - more so than in any other time in human history. The invitation to go deeper than the structures would normally allow, let alone be comforable with. It is an invitation into the desert - it is also an invitation into the heart of God. That place where we can encounter the true Christ under the only banner Jesus ever wanted to be under - that of Love.
"Thankfully, I am not a theologian"
I find it disturbing that a member of the clergy takes it upon oneself to decide what is right and wrong with the Church by going against the Doctrine. It is most disturbing that people we trust to teach our children find it acceptable to teach their personal beliefs and not those of the Church. It is no wonder that the number of Catholic children attending Catholic school is dwindling, since it is common that God is being removed from schools and the Church's Doctrine is being questioned by its members from the left.
These are good points. Conviction of belief takes courage. Bless you for your willingness to speak your truth. It is a fine quality indeed. One that is much needed.
Never fear in looking to your heart and inner spirit. And alway remember, the Realm of the Divine is within.
I'm surprised anyone has read this thread, as it is 6 years old. I went back and read it myself.
Thanks for your sentiments, kersancliss29. Who are you?
If folks are interested, I will continue this page, as I think itis a good topic for exploration. There is a LOT happening in teh collective during these times.