A few years ago, I came upon a book which I have since used when called on to lead prayers before meetings and other gatherings. It is called “Prayers to an Evolutionary God,” by William Cleary, former assistant editor at the Catholic weekly, America.
Cleary is a filmmaker and composer and has written many books on spirituality. For this book on prayer, he relies heavily on the spiritual and scientific writings of Diarmuid O’Murchu, a contemporary author and social psychologist, and Teihard de Chardin, a scientist and theologian of the early 20th century. The book shows clearly that religion and science can be combined to create an expanding view of the universe an evolutionary faith.
Each prayer in the book takes up one page, and on the facing page is a commentary on some aspect of our constantly changing, evolving universe. The reflections are thoughtful, not stuffily scientific. The prayers are intimate, personal, filled with awe and wonder.
Here is a sample from “Prayers to an Evolutionary God.”
“Holy Creator Spirit, the memory of disappointments, of ‘what might have been,’ brings back sorrow and bewilderment.
“We are vulnerable as you understand so well. We are easily frayed and wounded and often afraid to hope for healing. In fact, illness threatens us constantly and saps our energies of creativity and accomplishment.
“Yet, around us are your sacraments of hope, great and small: The night sky full of creative fire, the migrating geese, the promise-rich crocus of early spring, the serenity of sleeping infants.
“You are here, Holy Mystery, singing in the wind, comforting us with human laughter, coloring our life from your rainbow of possibilities in an evolving world.
“Your way is best: It fills us with hope beyond every sadness.
“May it be so.”
“Prayers to an Evolutionary God” inspires us to discover our own place in the story of the universe, challenges us to rethink life in new ways, and enables us to express ourselves in words that make sense to an evolutionary God.