Birth of a Dancing Star: My Journey from Cradle Catholic to Cyborg Christian
by Ilia Delio
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’ve read a number of Ilia Delio’s books and this is great. It’s more from the heart than any of her previous books. She had a remarkable transformation in her life and beliefs and she does a great job of telling that story. I found this book easy to read and difficult to put down. She gave me insights into my own journey of the soul that I had not found elsewhere. She is a prophetic voice for our time. This book belongs with the classics like Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain.
Without the dynamic energy of transcendence by which consciousness rises and relationships deepen, religion grows old and weary; it becomes rote, a mechanistic repetition of old ideas. To function out of an old cosmology with old ideas of matter and form, to think that God does not do new things, is to make an idol out of Jesus and to ignore the power of the Spirit.”
— Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology, Consciousness by Ilia Delio
Ilia Delio is my favorite modern theologian. She’s helped me to look at the deeper meanings of life and to better understand the writing of Teilhard de Chardin. Many people see God or the creator as immutable but that’s not my belief. As the universe continues to grow and unfold then the cosmos and the energy that surrounds us continues to grow and change too. What keeps everything in place? The creation story that is in the Book of Genesis is more allegory than reality. It was the best that an ancient mind could fathom. Now we know so much more about the cosmos.
Does the creative energy of the universe which we might call God not continue to grow and expand? I asked a Jewish friend of mine how he viewed the Bible. I wanted to know if he interpreted everything literally. He assured me that he didn’t but saw the stories as wisdom stories that needed to be interpreted in light of our present day.
God as he reveals himself to me through my experience is not the limiting God that some religious people seem to think. I believe that there are certain universal principles which govern the universe. Among them is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The golden rule applies in all cases in my experience. On the other hand the creative force of the universe is open to all people regardless of where they find themselves in the world. There is not one way of seeing God. There are many ways of seeing God. The disparate religious faiths are fingers pointing to the moon.
The universe is not an either/or proposition. It is nuanced and we’ve only scratched the surface. As St. Paul said, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
I was reading Teilhard de Chardin quotes this morning and though many were poignant there was one that shone brighter than the rest.
“By means of all created things, without exception, the divine assails us, penetrates us, and molds us. We imagined it as distant and inaccessible, when in fact we live steeped in its burning layers”
― Teillard de Chardin
How often we are told that to be holy or blessed we must believe a certain way or say certain things or belong to a particular denomination. Today that’s all changed as even those who regularly attend churches are unable to do so. Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is within you.” No higher authority than that is there. Within each of us is the spark of life and that life has a divine origin even for the most heinous who inhabit the planet. Whether we love or despise those in our midst it matters not. They too are connected to this cosmic divinity. That isn’t just us either that’s all creation including the rabbits, squirrels, and our pets. That extends to the virus that is wreaking havoc on our world. That’s really beyond my comprehension. What can we do to put the genie back in the bottle? I have been praying more than normal. Praying for our world and all creation. Can prayer work? What does prayer look like for you? Is it wrote or it merely intention while doing yoga or some other form of meditation.
How will we respond? What can we do in the face of this pandemic? Why did this happen to us?
“In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.”
― Pierre Teilhard De Chardin
Pray for those who you love and those who you hate too. Pray for the virus and pray for its remedy. Peace
It’s always darkest before the dawn. I’ve been very discouraged and dangling on the edge of depression that past couple of weeks. Why not? The world as we knew it appears to be disappearing before our eyes. Everywhere people are contracting the coronavirus. Many are dying and everyone who’s telling the truth is wondering if they’re next.
Earlier today I was watching Madam CJ Walker on Netflix which is riveting story of a woman who overcame incredible odds to become the first black woman millionaire in the United States. She dared to dream big. Watching the series in the midst of this pandemic invited me to do the same. Later this evening as I was listening to Bishop Barron’s homily on the Solemnity of the Annunciation he too invited us to dare to dream big.
Right now there is someone in our world who’s got the cure for the coronavirus in their mind. We are surrounded by brilliant minds and we’re connected across the cosmos. From this powerful connection will come a cure for this dilemma which we face. I’ve also been watching The Story of God with Morgan Freeman on Netflix. A common theme throughout the series is that there is a greater intelligence that rules the cosmos and since we all come from that source it follows that we already possess the knowledge to cure the pandemic.
Today as I walked and prayed I focused my thoughts on the cosmos and pictured holding the world in front of me. I believe in prayer as a positive energy and somewhere right now there is someone with the answer. We need to bring that solution into our consciousness and birth it. I thought of the words of the prophet Jeremiah.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11