From the Ritiro Omega Discussion Group

Theistic Evolution: A New Religious Story

by Sr. Paula Scraba, OSF and the Allegany Franciscan Sisters from the Ritiro Omega Group

The discussion opened around the question, “How can the Church be whole if only one part of it had a voice?” Today God forgives, it is hard to be forgiving at times. We are called to be like God-an invitation to take to heart and be there for one another. But sometimes we fall and we need help each other to get up. How we relate to others and interact vs condemning the person? If I had a family member killed by someone I’m not sure how long it would take for me to forgive.

Another part of the discussion looked at theology and nature. It was one in the beginning. We learned from nature. Then the Church started to close in on itself. Then we stopped “listening” to nature and Bonaventure highlights in his writings of scripture and nature. It seems to start during the Reformation the “control.” Revolution is always present in Jesus but 1st as a listening ear and read from scripture. The book on mystics and meditation more open to contemplative Spirit and God revealing that spirit to us. It is the God within us that will move us in the future. Reflecting how we use to think of Church as the Gospel truth. For centuries we never questioned we did our duty, followed the rules, rituals and commandments. It was about the rules and doctrine. Now we talk of service, contemplation, prayer is what is happing in the inner dwelling of God. Not just me and God but together the inner dwelling becomes the outer part of the God within me. Just let Jesus be Jesus and be our energy and consciousness for the when, where of growth and birth of God in us and the Church.

The heart of community can be the acceptance of each other. Church is a myth and through the myth can it be defined. But it is the myths that is part of the story of Catholicism. How do we write a new myth for the Church today? The story of Jesus life and Resurrection is passed on. We can trust that what is pass on is truth and what we have is our story to pass on and to embrace and on God’s story within us. What is the bigger story of God today? Pope Francis is going right in the middle of a double edge sword. Like Jesus he knows our weakness as a Church and not condemning to look at the world it is going to take time not one meeting but years. This may be the next evolution and book of myths for the future.

Where is the evolution and the birthing of God that unfolds for the universe? The birthing of God within us. How do we participate in the birthing of God? We are call to be so much more and not to be brought down by what is happening. But to continue the birthing story. This is the myth we are called to write. Contemplating Jesus in the Church and revealing through contemplation always the knowledge and dynamics of the revelation in the Word and Spirit. How do we bring this to the next generation?

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