Ch. 3 The Universe Story and Christian Story

The question that Judy often was asked was,” how does the Christian Story fit with the New Universe Story ; can they co exist?”  We know the Christian Story. The New Universe Story is simply the discipline that seeks to understand the ultimate questions: who we are, where did we come from and why are we here in light of what science has discovered. In Judy’s work , what intrigued her was that both the mystics of the Christian tradition and science seemed to indicate that we are all one, a  single inter – connected creation.  This then was the lens in which she viewed both the Christian Story and the New Universe Story  which made them compatible. Judy also poses the question, “what about Jesus?” She quotes Rahner ” The God-Man is the initial beginning and the definitive triumph of the movement of the world’s self transcendence into absolute closeness to the mystery of God.”  Jesus fits into what we are evolving towards. Jesus came to show us what a fully evolved human being is like-compassion and love, a huge step in the evolution process.

As I continue on in chapter 3, it is difficult for me to comprehend that not only does the universe continue to evolve but that I also continue to evolve. It’s hard for me to comprehend that all life, including mine has emerged from the same cosmic source and this emergence continues to unfold.

I have learned that I am being pressured from within to transcend, to become more than I am, more complete and more fully aware of my consciousness. I am looking forward to what Judy describes as an awakening! I need to look for ways Spirit is calling me to evolve. The New Universe Story has in  effect changed how I perceive my life and its possibilities.

I will end  with Judy’s words. ” Salvation, then in its fullest sense, is not about “me” or a very small “we,” but about the cosmos as a whole. It is about the entire cosmos in some mystery filled way coming to an awareness of  its own divinity in divinity. The clarity and finality of Christian truth lies in the inexorability of [humanity’s] deliverance into this mystery.”

The action plan for this week is to think about how we can intentionally become more conscious –  and participate in our own evolution. These are my thoughts, I look forward to yours.

The following is a link to quotations from Echart Tolle’s book, A New Earth. I was looking on you tube for an appropriate message to send to everyone. I viewed a few messages and then this one. When this audio was finished and right after it said “the end,” Judy’s web site appeared for no reason with her smiling face looking at me. This was apparently the one she wanted sent, but I was startled because there was no apparent reason Judy’s picture should have come up. It is a mystery. I thought you would all want to know that.

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12 Responses to Ch. 3 The Universe Story and Christian Story

  1. Ray says:

    The New Universe Story changes everything. It makes me walk out on my lawn the last thing at night to listen and to look up. It makes me linger when I go for the morning newspaper and try to be at one with the new day. I say my Thank You, and hear You’re Welcome echoed in the silence, the sounds, the smells and even in the dawn light which now I realize is energy and material. But beyond personal experience and delight, it changes near everything in our /my theology, or theology’s twentyfirst century form and figures of speech anyway, and that’s where the excitement (euphemism) will be found for the next few generations of Church. Since I am in Religious Education, it is a challenge to restrain myself from sharing too much too soon, especially because it is slow work for me to make these new perspectives my own so as to give a good account of my beliefs, as Judy did. New wine, new wineskins. The poet part of me revels in radical amazement, the student part of me anticipates a Vatican Council III !

  2. I am re-reading this book and am finding it interesting to notice what I highlighted the first time. This chapter was challenging for me and I enjoyed reading Judy’s interpretation of Karl Rahner’s thinking. There were a couple of places where I had question marks.

    The first was that the development toward the human is the development toward spirit, although I think it is clearer to me now that I read it again. Our capacity for awareness and self-transcendence is how the spirit in us and the spirit in the universe are connected.

    Another question mark was when Judy said that the Incarnation appears as the necessary and permanent beginning of the divinization of the world as a whole. This I am still puzzled about because to me the world was divine all along and was expressing itself through evolution.

    Overall, I resonate with what Judy says towards the end, that Incarnation is not primarily about redemption from sin, but about coming to recognize our true nature; it is about active self-transcendence, which Jesus modeled beautifully.

  3. Carmel Higgins says:

    The question I am left with is this: Is the Christian story bigger than the Universe Story or is it one evolving sacred story among many? It seems to me that if the universe story is the story about everything (or everything as we know it) the Christian story is a story within the big story. It already fits in! It didn’t evolve from some place else. The universe is ONE. It is not a matter of placing the two stories side by side, or even choosing which to live by, it is all one story!

  4. Ray says:

    To continue the reflections by Kim and Carmel, I highlight this line on pg 59,”The whole of creation can be seen as a single movement, the one grace-filled selfcommunicating act of the God who can only be described as incomprehensible holy mystery.” My friends and I have spoken of the Incarnation as having been ONE with or referring to the originating flaring forth, the Original Grace articulated in Gen 1:4a, ‘God saw how good [complete] the light was…’ Even tho in the history of our theologizing we reserve the word Incarnation to Jesus’ conception, the definitive self-communicating act of God within our Christian Story. The unifying image for me is one of epiphany/arrival of that original flaring forth, consequent on Mary’s Fiat. Judy says Rahner weaves the two stories together, but a different metaphor image strikes me, that the Christian Story is like a garden reflecting globe, its mirrored surface captures the light already loosed in that “single reality” of the cosmos. [Kim’s:] “when Judy said that the Incarnation appears as the necessary and permanent beginning of the divinization of the world as a whole,” I just took for granted Judy was talking about the Flaring Forth of the Universe Story. I skimmed the chapter again but could not find such a reference. Anyway, this all just highlights the startling reiteration of Rahner that the purpose of Jesus’ Incarnation thru Mary was not redemption/expiation from human sin. The purpose encompasses something far grander than what we see in our little garden reflecting globe at this point in our evolution. Thanks for the reading. How does that go — I don’t know what I think until I say it?

    • Betty Carpentier says:

      Thanks, Ray. I resonate with what you have articulated. I would like to append from Judy, pg 68 “Jesus seemed to have a unique lens with which to view that love, and with that, a unique capacity ro receive that love.” It is the “receive that love” that seems to be missing from your statement: “Incarnation to Jesus’ conception, the definitive self-communicating act of God within our Christian Story.”

  5. Laurie says:

    Thank you for your beautiful reflections, friends and also to Phil for sharing Judy’s message to him in selecting the clip. In appreciating each present moment, we can participate fully in our transformation.
    This was my recent experience of a moment of grace found amongst tumultuous noise:

    The average age at an industry party: 30. The music throbs loudly, precluding thoughtful discussion. Decibels heighten even to the point that, at times, our clothes seem to flutter against our chest.
    An experience of self-dissolution – no thoughtful discussion can pierce through the cacophony of noise. Self-preservation, adaptation and transcendence in this milieu? God’s heart beats with ours in a mysterious way in the repetitive beating pattern, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2. Our Creator connects with us even in this most unlikely of circumstances. I am with you always……..

  6. Betty Carpentier says:

    Many thanks to Phil and to all of you who have responded. I agree, at least in part, with all ofyou. Here are is my way of expressing what has been given to me this week:
    Rahner defines grace “as holy mystery’s self-communication or self-offering in love.” For about 50 years I have been growing into the statement: “Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.”
    For me the central thought from Ch. 3 revolves around “God’s offer of grace and humanity’s acceptance of that offer,” and the active self-transcendence through which the Spirit pushes us to “be more.” What is emerging, I believe is the Whole Christ and our recognition of our true nature.
    This Sunday, the 30th in Ordinary Time, we will hear Matthew 22v36: ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Achieving the love of the twofold commandment seems impossible, but not if I look less at the problem and more at the mystery of the love being offered.

  7. Rachel says:

    Greetings All: I am experiencing an immense beauty as I reread Judy’s book. It is like a new message of great hopefulness that I am learning for the first time. Perhaps it is the realization that all of you, and many more who choose not to write in, are here. My heartfelt gratitude to each of you and especially to Judy and Phil. Rachel

  8. Anne Paradis says:

    Many thanks to you Phil for being receptive and following through with what is being asked of you right now in time. I can just visualize Judy smiling at you with much love and pride. I found your message very powerful and thank you so much for sharing your special ‘touches’ from Judy. Truly a resurrection story which has been very much appreciated and treasured.
    Sincerely, Anne Paradis

  9. maria says:

    I rejoice in all that has been said. And I jump to the new book about Dorothy Day enttitled: All Is Grace. Seems that is what we are all saying. Only need to stop and fell it and let this mystery really enfold us as we are.

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