There was an exhibit in Burgos called “Evolution,” a provocative exploration into the origins of the universe. So many people believe that evolution and Christianity can’t exist together, and that official church teaching prohibits belief in evolution. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Church leaves it up to each individual to decide for them self.
In my own opinion, the science of evolution is impossible to refute. I believe that we have evolved as human beings and that the entire created world is evolving. I just believe that a personal God began the evolutionary process, creating the human species millions of years ago. The more we evolve and develop , the more we participate in the recreation of the world. Part of the evolutionary process is the gradual growth of human creativity as we learn the unfolding of God’s Plan in which our understanding of Creation is expanding. We are slowly becoming “divinized” as we participate with God in the unfolding of this Plan: human consciousness is expanding in ways difficult to comprehend or keep up with.
The science of evolution teaches HOW the world and human life came about ; it does not tell us WHY we are here. The “why” is where God enters this human drama. When I see a beautiful sunset, I can sort of understand the concept of the sun’s light piercing molecules and ions and protons creating hues of red and purple and gold. But an awareness erupts underneath the mental concept of a Presence that compels me to feel what I can only describe as Joy. Hence, there is a Purpose to the evolutionary process just as there is a deeper purpose to a sunset.
My good friend Steve is one person I love to talk about these things, for he is a seeker with many questions. My conversations with him are interesting and thought provoking. He , more than any devout Christian , helps me to encounter Christ because faith is deepened when questions are explored. We tend to think that Christ answered many questions , when in reality , he asked many questions. He even responded to a question with another question. I believe if you actually count, Jesus asked hundreds of questions in the gospels.
The best description of the church is one I can relate with as I write this, a description that the Second Vatican Council taught in one of its Constitutions: the Church is a PILGRIM people moving in time. How beautiful.
As a “pilgrim” I am traveling, learning, meeting new people, expanding how I see humanity, expanding how I see the world. In short, step by little step , I am “evolving” and expanding. And God is at the heart of this evolutionary pilgrimage. God is at the heart of YOUR unique pilgrimage in which you can , if you choose, to participate in the recreation of the world. The world and creation is “charged with the grandeur of God,” wrote someone so famous I can’t remember his name. Whoever is reading this: YOU are charged with the grandeur of God…. And you are a work in evolutionary process.
Thank you Steve for helping me to grow.
Buen camino. Fr. Frank