I have often been troubled by the way some Christians seem compelled to live in two different worlds. One is a world in which God resides; the other is a world in which humanity dwells and God is absent. Theologians call this latter view of the world theism.
A friend expressed this kind of split awareness by saying, “We pray to God on Sunday, and we prey on our neighbor on Monday.”
Such an approach removes the sensitivity we would need to care for our common home, the Earth. Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical that such an attitude can lead to “a throw-away culture.” And he wrote on Twitter that “The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”
With the Pope—as well as Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry, and others—as our guides, we see that another way is possible.
When we embrace evolution, something amazing happens. We are infused with God’s creative energy as we become aware that the divine has been present since the beginning of the universe. Suddenly, every person, plant, and tree is seen to be infused with God’s energy. Every child, elder, puppy, and kitten is understood to be sacred and soaked in God.
The lyrics of “Holy Now” take on new meaning. The birds’ songs become a verse from scripture, while rivers and streams become holy. All of creation is now the locus of divine presence.
When we awaken to the realization that God is present in all things, we are energized to take up our privileged task of resacralizing the Earth.
(originally published September 12, 2016)