Wednesday, 03 August 2011 09:21




The MSC Spirituality Services held its annual conference at the Heart of Life Centre, Box Hill. Memebers of the Spirituality Services are the staffs of the three MSC Spirituality works: St Mary’s Retreat Centre, Douglas Park, The Heart of Life Centre, Box Hill and The Chevalier Institute, Kensington, NSW.


Staff of the three centres attended the conference as well as invited members from the Melbourne MSC community, including the students in formation.


The guest speaker was Denis Edwards of the archdiocese of Adelaide who has a worldwide reputation as a theologian exploring issues of the environment and Divine Action in our world. He spoke of the biblical perspective on creation and nature as well as linking this theological reflection with a theology and practice of the Eucharist.





Elizabeth Johnson, Quest for the Living God: Mapping the Frontiers in the Theology of God.



The idea of Creator Spirit brings to the fore the belief that the presence Activity of God pervade the world and that therefore the natural world Is the dwelling place of God… This presence is continuous… the Creator Spirit dwells in compassionate solidarity with every living being that suffers... and God abides in the world most intimately in the mode of promise: ‘Behold I am making all things new.’


Denis Edwards theology of Divine Action.

If God is the power that enables creatures and created processes to exist and to exercise their own proper causality, then we can see God at work in the world without positing occasional divine “interventions” that break or override the “laws” of nature. God creates and exercises providential guidance of the world in and through created processes. “Divine action…works in and through the laws of nature rather than by violating, superseding, or bypassing them” (p. 55).

This has implications the problem of evil, among other things. If God creates through natural processes and respects the relative autonomy of created reality, then it may be that God cannot (in some sense) prevent the evil that mortal flesh is prey to. Suffering, pain, predation, disease, and death may be necessary (again, in some sense) attendants to the process by which God brings about new life. If the picture of the evolution of the universe offered by science is even remotely accurate, we are compelled to think of God as being very patient in waiting on natural processes to bring sentient and personal life into being. But unlike, say, the God of process theology, who seems to be one being among others within a shared ontological framework, Edwards’ God is genuinely transcendent and the unqualified source of all that is. God respects the relative autonomy of creation, but will take action to bring the divine purposes to completion. From a posting on the site A Thinking Reed.