Co-creators of a New Creation – The +Christ Made Manifest

The featured image (top) is copyrighted by Fr. Kenneth J. Nelan. It is part of a shield given to him by his one-time friend, +Brother, and former bishop after his installation as Vicar of the Diocese under his former jurisdiction.   Fr. Kenn has since retired the shield but the image remains a permanent part of his charism.
We are - co-creators of a created +Creation; aware of our own created-ness and of our participation in the ongoing creation of the +Created.  We are not merely beings; we are BEing itself manifest in beings.  Created and creating, we wander this sacred journey searching for that which connects us to the +Creator - our +Beloved - in whom we move and breathe, and have the core of our existence.  As Christians, we do this through the life, ministry (lessons taught), death, and resurrection of the +Christ.

Fr. Kenneth J. Nelan, osfc
Image by Unknown

I am aware of something deep inside me that moves me in ways I cannot begin to describe. This awareness feeds my soul and keeps me moving when I feel like I’ve given up on ministry and the world. In the past five years, it has laid dormant and waning – stifled and strangled by the abuse and hubris around me. Yet somehow the thorn in my side remained ever-present and faithful to the call, even when I have not.

In the past few months, I’ve felt pulled back to my +Christ – to the interplay of lost and found as it relates to my own sense of spirituality; and in the past couple of years, most certainly within the past few months, I have begun focusing on the deep interconnection of the +Creator and the created.

Creating God

Creating God, your fingers trace
the bold designs of farthest space;
let sun and moon and stars and light
and what lies hidden praise your might.

Creating God, Your Fingers Trace; Jeffery Rowthorn, 1979

One prayer-filled day, and while thinking about the concept of co-creation, I heard one of my favorite songs; I don’t think it was coincidental. Hearing it sent me deeper into prayer and into another concept that moves my soul – “I am not a human being enjoying a spiritual life, I am a spiritual being enjoying a human life” (Chardin, 1959). Think for a moment – the +Christ was made manifest as a bridge uniting all things in a single act of mercy and love.

Imagine, all we need do is strip away everything separating us from the understanding that we are already a part of the +Divine. All of us. Not just select groups singled out for the atrocities committed against them. When we allow ourselves to see beyond artificiality, we become part of the evolutionary process of reunification with the +Source. Unfortunately, our human experience gets in the way. Rather than seek out our strong spiritual nature, we embrace our frailties.

Sustaining God

Sustaining God, your hands uphold
earth’s myst’ries known or yet untold;
let water’s fragile blend with air,
enabling life, proclaim your care.

Creating God, Your Fingers Trace; Jeffery Rowthorn, 1979

The pantheistic view may not be far from the truth: “God is everything and everything is God.” I’m not sure I believe everything is in God, although the idea that we may exist within a multidimensional rift deep within the mind or heart of the +Creator is an interesting notion. Everything existing within the +Creator is probably the only thing keeping me from becoming truly pantheistic, but I do think the +Divine placed a seed of +Itself within everything +Created.

I wonder… if the +Divine created everything from nothing, then from where did it derive the material to create? We are taught the +Creator created everything known and unknown from nothing. Could it be possible that instead of nothing, +God created everything from +God’s own self? But – regardless of if or how creation exists, we are here and we seem to be aware of “something a greater than which nothing can be conceived” (Plato’s definition of God). As we grow in awareness of ourselves and of all creation, we become responsible for the knowledge of existence and its origin.

So how do we fit into the mix? What are we in relation to all that is created? There is something deep inside each one of us that draws us to the +Origin of all things.

Redeeming God

Redeeming God, your arms embrace
all now despised for creed or race;
let peace, descending like a dove,
make known on earth your healing love.

Creating God, Your Fingers Trace; Jeffery Rowthorn, 1979

Why has all of this become important to me at this time in my life? Why does it matter – +Created or +Creating – Spiritual or Human – what does all of this have to do with traveling a spiritual path? Re-read the above quote, then read on…

Like many of my +Sisters+ and +Brothers+, I am tired. My heart – no – my soul breaks every day I read or hear of horrors and atrocities committed perpetrated on others due to arbitrary and artificial reasons. People kill over a television in someone’s cart or because another car took a parking space. People attack verbally and physically, there is no longer a difference so long as people get their points across. It is now second nature to destroy rather than build up; we have forgotten our true nature – we have forgotten how to love.

Indwelling God

Indwelling God, your gospel claims
one family with a billion names;
let every life be touched by grace
until we praise you face to face.

Creating God, Your Fingers Trace; Jeffery Rowthorn, 1979

Whether that source is the big bang or the creation myths, we understand and know that humanity, in actuality all of existence, is descended from one source. There is nothing separating our existence from that of a planet – we are all made up of the same stuff; call that stuff God or stardust, it makes no difference. We are all one. We are only now beginning to understand that plants and animals have a conscious mind that differs from ours, but their awareness does exist. Trees and other plants have roots that form rudimentary neural networks connecting all living things on the planet. We are only just now beginning to understand how they communicate and if they are even aware of our presence and destruction of the world around us.

We are one family – all life – all of creation is one in BEing with the +Divine.

Back to Creating God

“…your fingers trace…”, “…your hands uphold…”, “…your arms embrace…”, “…your gospel claims…” – this is where it gets messy… We are attributing human qualities to a thing we can never hope to understand. Perhaps the +Creator is a Caucasian male in a white flowing gown and beard, but something tells me that’s just how we understand the +Creator’s existence because of the limits we place on our minds. Yes, you read that right – because of the limits WE place on our minds. Many of us are so challenged by that which we do not understand that we have great difficulty accepting other views – so we change them to fit our limited understanding.

Perhaps if we return to accepting the +Creator – in all of +Its wonder and glory – for the +Creation it is, we can get back to engaging the existence around us with love and devotion. Perhaps we can return to a place of love and of spiritual BEing. Maybe, just maybe, if we can overcome our need to control we can become, finally, the truest example of peace and wonder Jesus taught.