Thisness of God

“Thisness of G*d”(Haecceity)

by Sr. Marvie L. Misolas, MM

Thisness of God (haecceity) is a term I borrowed from Sister Ilia Delio, OSF, from her book Making All Things New – Catholicity, Cosmology and Consciousness to reflect and articulate a recent period of quiet and meditation in a place where my spirit finds home.

That afternoon, whilst walking towards the cemetery, these little things lying sparsely on the ground along with fallen summer leaves caught my attention.  Lo and behold there are quite a bit of them, like winged creatures, except that they are, I learnt, are seed-pods of a tree which I still have to know the name.  The heat of the mid-afternoon did not deter me from picking a few of these, trying very hard to put them in my palm and not crushing them for they are so fragile.  Accidentally, a gentle breeze blew and one got blown off from my palm, and like a child~ I got more fun watching it propelled in perfection, sliding through the breeze to the ground.  So, instead of collecting them, thinking of planting them, I blew them off my palm and watched them twirled in unison.  Then, I would pick them up again, and blew them off, to my satisfaction.  Sweating and sweltering, I walked back to my room, feeling so happy, the child within made whole again!

Later that afternoon, in prayer, all the images and recollection of the mid-afternoon rendezvous came back.  It has dawned on me; I have met my teachers in these little things.  I was conscious of them, as they were of my presence.  They were actually the whole universe.  They represent the present as well the future possibilities of what make up creation unfolding.  I thought, I have just witnessed and experienced God’s love ~ being creative every moment.  These seed pods represent both death and new life. As I have come to the retreat with the intention of reflecting on the passion death and new life of Jesus, the Spirit helped me to gaze and contemplate nature and be conscious of this wholeness in nature.  The gift I have received is what Ilia Delio said, “To see is an act of consciousness, and it brings what it sees into conscious reality.  It requires an open heart.  To have an inner spaciousness of the heart to receive another.”   Somehow, there was this intense creative communication between me and the seed pods, they have become alive!

Intuitively, as I continued to reflect on these seeds, this has led me to understand that there is this awesome wholeness in nature.  That is, the process of life and death.  That death is integral to life. That reflecting on the suffering and death of Jesus, he showed us that it is all part of the process of life.  Ilia Delio said, “Jesus’ death symbolizes his Yes to the consciousness of his unity to God (humanity) and God’s unconditional love (divinity).  This is Jesus, the ‘thisness’ of God.

Delio also quoted Jurgen Moltmann,

“When the Crucified Jesus is called the image of the invisible God, the meaning is that this is God, and God is like this.  God is not greater than he is in his humiliation.  God is not more glorious than he is in this self-surrender.  God is not more powerful than he is in this helplessness.  God is not more divine than he is in this humanity.”

Beautifully, Delio summarized Jesus’ suffering and death, “Jesus’ mission of creative wholeness restores humanity to its integral nature within the whole of evolutionary nature.  Through the life of Jesus we can see ourselves as part of an ongoing process of creative and emergent life(evolution) and are called to realize our participation in this unfolding of life, as creation seeks its ultimate fulfillment in God.  Death is not due to sin and evil, nor it is opposite of life.  It is radical in nature, integral to life.”

These seeds springing to new plants represent resurrection.  In the quantum understanding of life and death, Jesus resurrection must empower us, to be like him, to being renewed.  That in every big and small deaths we experience throughout this life, we emerged with a higher consciousness, a new whole sense of being, more loving.  For Ilia Delio, ‘every act of physical death is an act of new life in the universe. The resurrection of Jesus reveals to us new cosmic life.  Through the lens of quantum physics, death is the collapse of our ‘particle’ aspect of life into the ‘wave’ dimension of our relatedness.”

Our living on in and through relationships, noted Delio, is the meaning and depth of the resurrection of Jesus.  Jesus now lives on in the heart of the universe in a new relatedness.  Jesus lives in us, those who follow him, who remember him, who extend our relationships in compassion, justice and peace.  mlm 劉美妙修女04122017