“The fact of God changes before our eyes………The vague feelings of my youth have now been swallowed by an immense Energy…..not of a ‘God who is dead,’ as Nietzsche says, but of a ‘God who changes’…..”
One of Teilhard’s continuing criticisms of the Catholic Church was that it did not respond appropriately to the changing perception of God in the 20th century, as reflected in this quote. I find it easy today to dismiss the position of the Church on evolution in 1950, but what does evolution mean for us today? And what does it mean for me? Isn’t there an unmistakable urge to have evolution be done and to sense the familiar instead of dealing with the constancy of change? There is for me.
I am always looking for the familiar. I don’t like it when my favorite website is redesigned and suddenly I have difficulty finding things. When on the highway, I like to take familiar paths and don’t like it when my navigation system sends me along a different roadway. I like to see familiar patterns of behavior in those I know and become uneasy when someone acts differently. And most of all, I like a static, unchanging image of God. Too bad says Teilhard, because it isn’t like that. God changes before our eyes, at least that aspect of God that we perceive on this material plane.
It was already difficult beyond comprehension to fathom God, but the unfathomable is changing? When my courage is strongest, I am able to see that this has been my experience. I just didn’t want to confront it. It is more than a little scary. It challenges me to let go of the familiar, to be present, to be in the now, and to let go of history. How can it help to find temporary comfort in that which has passed and is no more?
What does the changing face of God mean for you?