Summer Retreat Day #2: Our Creation Story

By Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

sunrise-over-treesAn overnight rain gave way to dappled sunshine and diamond-tipped grasses bobbing in the morning breeze.The Sisters gathered in the community room for Day #2 of our silent summer retreat, coffee in hand, smiling and nodding at one another.

We relish this time together to just … be. And today’s talk addressed the meaning of that word, “be.” Who – what – are we?

Every culture has its own creation story. It helps shape our culture and our beliefs. As Christians, our creation story is told in the first chapter of Genesis. Today, Sister Sharon explored the implications of our old and new stories.

Here are the assumptions supported by that story:

• We are the pinnacle of creation
• God created the Earth but left us to rule it.
• God does not reside here.
• The male was create first, then the women, who sinned first.
• Our disobedience is the reason we have sin, disease, violence, death in the world.
• We are intrinsically sinful, imperfect, objectionable beings. We are born that way.
• Our disobedience was so deeply heinous that God shut us out from heaven, cut us off from “Himself.”

But as we grew in knowledge and understanding of the world around us and our universe – as we evolved! – we began to learn a new story. It’s a story that’s charged with both science and faith. We all come out from one story.

Here are the essential elements to this evolved story:

1. It one story (not many, depending upon faith).
2. The story is not finished. It is not complete and it is not perfect.
3.The whole of reality is interconnected (we are one – whether plant or mammal, water or air).
4. The sum total is greater than the parts (creation is much bigger than an ant … or even a human).
5. The Universe is self-organizing (it finds what it needs to grow and thrive).
6. The Universe is wholly inclusive (every part belongs).
7. The universe is always moving toward greater diversity, complexity, awareness … whether WE are or not.

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