Through studying the cosmos we become more aware of the Universe in its immensity and diversity as the source of life and all of creation, and hence, God. Cosmic Awareness takes us out of the numbness of our “here-and-now” landscape into being awestruck by creation, and the Creator’s, limitless magnificence.
As Women Religious, the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart continually search for ways to deeply understand our relationship with God and one another so as to live more authentically. Our desire to care for the Earth has led many of our Sisters to explore how and why God created things as they are. The teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, shed light on the big questions that come to us as we examine our relationship to Creation.
There was a person who wrote of advice given and wonder awakened: “Take time some night as you gaze upward to stop, lie down on the ground, and look ‘outward’—to the left, to the right, up and down. They are all around you, millions of stars you can see, and billions of stars you cannot see…all of them proclaiming the glory of God.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, Philosopher, Theologian, Paleontologist, Geologist (1881-1955), first wrote about the purposeful or conscious evolution of Creation including humankind. His radical ideas (circa 1920) were even too much back then for his Jesuit superiors. Yet, today, his views on faith and science continue to resonate with great thinkers, including Pope Benedict XVI. Cosmic Awareness transcends our daily mental programming by opening up the “Big Picture.” We become more receptive to the awesomeness of creation and human existence. A study of the new cosmology transforms one’s sense of the meaning of the Universe vis-à-vis human existence. For Christians/Catholics it quite naturally opens up one’s sense of God’s presence and activity in our physical world.
We are committed to stretching our minds and imaginations to come to know as much as we can about God. Reading current books and articles focusing on the scientific studies of cosmology by Christian theologians is one way we are participating in the evolution God set in place.
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
We recommend the following:
The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos by Brian Swimme
Radical Amazement by Judy Cannato
Radical Optimism by Beatrice Bruteau