August 14

Reflection

We are in trouble just now because we do not have a good story. We are in between stories. The Old Story – the account of how the world came to be and how we fit into it- is not functioning properly and we have not learned the New Story.  The Old Story sustained us for a long period of time.  It shaped our emotional attitudes, provided us with life purpose, energized action. It consecrated suffering, integrated knowledge, guided education. We awoke in the morning and knew where we were. It’s all a question of story.  We are in between stories. We must begin where everything begins in human affairs – with the basic story, our narrative of how things came to be, how they came to be as they are, and how the future can be given some satisfying direction. We need a story that will educate us, a story that will heal, guide, and discipline us.
Thomas Berry

Prayer

Teach me wisdom and knowledge because I trust your commands.
Psalm 119:66

Action

What do you understand to be the New Story? Have the discoveries of physics and the life sciences broadend your understanding of the earth story and our place in it? How does patriarchy still have a strong role in our present story? Read some current articles such as Living the New Story, and watch videos such as The Universe Story.

Suggested Reading

God gave autonomy to the beings of the Universe at the same time at which he assured them of his continuous presence, giving being to every reality. And so creation continued for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia, until it became which we know today, precisely because God is not a demiurge or a conjurer, but the Creator who gives being to all things.

The beginning of the world is not the work of chaos that owes its origin to another, but derives directly from a supreme Origin that creates out of love.
Pope Francis

Are we prepared to embrace a new story of life and civilization, one that is radically different to our present story of a consumer-driven culture based upon exploitation and the myth of continual economic progress? Many people today long for such a new story, one that recognizes the Earth as a single interconnected living whole to which we belong. This is a story that nourishes our deeper selves with a sense of connection to the sacred and to the wonder and joy of life that is our heritage.But collectively we are still caught in the dream, or nightmare, of materialism, which the Earth can no longer support. Indeed it could be argued that the root of the present collective anger, or deep dissatisfaction we are witnessing, comes from a primal knowing that this dream has passed its sell-by date, that its promises of prosperity are empty. And yet because our culture does not ask the right questions, there is no possibility for a real answer.
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

All professions, all work, all activity in the human world finds its essential meaning in the context of a people’s cosmic story.
Brian Swimme

If we can understand that our life and human history is as much a part of the unfolding of the universe as is the natural world, then we can see that all peoples, cultures, religious traditions, and ethnic diversities have also been part of the same process, and have therefore played a significant role in it. The Earth desperately needs the sum total of all that wisdom in order to go forward into the next stage of evolution.
Miriam Therese MacGillis

Woven into our lives is the very fire from the stars and genes from the sea creatures, and everyone, utterly everyone, is kin in the radiant tapestry of being.
Elizabeth Johnson

From a Christian perspective, to live in evolution is to make wholes out of partials, to risk, get involved, challenge the entrenched and fixed by finding new models of practice and beliefs that energize life in God.
Ilia Delio

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Carl Sagan

The God who outpaces all our constructs and who unceasingly lures us to radically new places and new ways of being is the God of our great evolutionary story. This is not about inventing a new religion. It is about reappropriating the archetypal divine story that creation itself has been narrating long before we humans ever inhabited that creation. It is about realigning our perspectives and perceptions
Diarmuid O’Murchu

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