Experiencing the Divine Universe: Contemplating & Praying with the Mystical Stirrings of Teilhard de Chardin
Desire to connect with God and Nature is as close to us in our human experience as the perpetual need to satiate our hunger and thirst. Those whom we recognize as mystics are more than familiar with this desire, many of whom have taught and written about the sacred pursuit of God in everyday living. And, while the necessity of increasing our gratitude and reverence for Mother Earth continues to rise, we have a timely opportunity to explore and reflect upon the rich stirrings of French Jesuit priest and scientist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. As a twentieth-century theologian and paleontologist, Chardin understood the mystical activity of God in human life through an evolutionary lens. Moreover, through his groundbreaking and controversial work, he labored to enlighten the world about the cosmic dance, which he recognized as transpiring simultaneously between the material and spiritual realms, both within us and around us.
Excerpts from some of his seminal texts such as The Divine Milieu and Phenomenon of Man will be mined for their relevance to our individual cultivation of meaning and collective participation in the process of becoming. Additionally, personal connections and takeaways will be examined and celebrated as we attempt to integrate Chardin’s reverence for Divinity ever accumulating in Nature.
Friday overnight guests will have dinner and enjoy an evening gathering both indoors and outdoors with opportunity for reflection, prayer and meditation, and creative exercises. During the program on Saturday, participants will experience praying an adaptation of Mass on the World outdoors as the sun rises above the Autumnal landscape of the Bon Secours campus. Breakfast will follow. All of these activities will unpack Chardin’s unique embrace of scientific and mystical knowledge. Sources for inspiration will be discovered within his biography, literary contributions, and altogether impactful legacy to contemporary awareness of God at work in the universe. Lunch on Saturday is also included. (Outdoor activities are weather permitting).
Prior familiarity with Teilhard de Chardin or his writings is not required to participate but welcomed. Please bring along a journal and comfortable walking shoes for retreat time spent outdoors. Check-in begins at 3pm and the retreat will start after dinner.
Gordon Creamer, creator of the Mission Bridge, earned his master’s in Spiritual & Pastoral Care from Loyola University. He has been involved in programming and operations in healthcare since 2001 at various Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Hospice communities. He is currently advancing towards a doctorate in Ministry at the Ecumenical Institute at St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore, MD. Gordon has facilitated numerous retreats and workshops that focus on creating opportunities for participants to explore and enhance their spirituality and well-being through various media. Affirming the journey of adults, individuals with memory impairment and members of the LGBTQ+ community is a passion for him. In the last several years, he has fostered support groups and programs for caregivers and those who are grieving losses. Gordon is also a certified spiritual director who welcomes all in discovering the spiritual life as a means of healing, growing and thriving. For more information, please visit www.themissionbridge.com.