Christianity is in its Fourth Great Awakening:
dying in Europe and North America
but exploding in Africa/Latin America/Asia
the rebirth of worldwide Pentecostalism
evangelicalism/pilgrimages/the Emergent Church
Vatican II, interest in mysticism and Eastern religions,
rediscovering ancient ways of prayer and meditation.
“We are discovering God is everything good
in everything. God is not naught –
God is before naught, before nothingness.”
– Meister Eckhart
Life is inherently ordered toward the ultimate victory
of goodness, not the ultimate disaster
predicted by the Second Law of Thermodynamics:
everything gradually dissipating into nothingness.
Science predicts disaster, religion predicts
resurrection and heaven.
No intellectual could detect the problem
of the hyper-growth of rational science
and the downplay of the arts and morals
because intellectuals had left spirituality
and religion behind
because they believed it was all myth.
But myth became history
and lived among us as Jesus the Christ.
In any case, the problem
is not science and technology
but the religious values we project onto them –
we expect them to save us/immortalize us
but that is the job of religion.
“Religion” means “religio”
same root as “ligament” –
healthy religion joins things together again.
But if we are at war with ourselves
because of unhealthy religion
we will soon be at war with others.
Spiritual exercises, according to Ignatius of Loyola,
are any method that rids us
of all our disordered affections
and opens our soul to God.
Because all humans have been damaged by sin
it is only by God’s grace that,
liberated from all our disorderly passions,
we can freely choose God and the good.
Humans’ life and spiritual affirmation
are inseparable because we are only human
to the extent we shape our world and our self
according to holy meanings and values –
“We don’t think our way into a new way of living,
we live our way into a new way of thinking.”
– Richard Rohr
On the other hand
within each person an awareness exists
that is vast/silent/restful/resourceful –
a ‘riverbed of mercy’
that does not rush to judgement
nor get caught up in narrow ‘right and wrong.’
To grow in Jesus the Christ
one must doubt and reject everything else.
But often this testing is too intolerable
and people flee into comfortable traditions/
The Vedic message of Vivekananda in 1893
to the Parliament of World Religions:
“The divinization of the human person
is far more important than
This appealed to those weary of religions’
But organized religion that is healthy
promotes community not just divinized individuals.
Divinized communities, Beloved Communities
can do so much more than divinized individuals.
The Fourth Great Awakening
promises divinization of both individuals
and Beloved Communities.