News: Review of the discussion on original sin/blessing

St Lucia Spirituality Group
Newsletter April 2023


Know that there is a power of infinite love within you and celebrate it!
Ilia Delio

Our April meeting on Zoom was our highest attendance yet, the conversation was wide ranging with diverse insights while everyone had an opportunity to contribute. Most of the conversation revolved around the original sin/blessing dichotomy and we did not have time to properly consider what the consequences of an emphasis on original blessing might be, as suggested in the discussion paper. Nevertheless, despite the church’s teaching on original sin, no one believed they were “wretches” as portrayed in the hymn Amazing Grace. Nor did Jesus. “You are the light of the world….seen like a city on a hilltop …. not hidden under a bushel,” he said. (Matt. 5:14-15).

One observation was that the concept of original sin made evangelisation difficult. Who could be attracted to a story about an angry, vengeful God, judging mankind harshly, sending his own Son to death on a cross as an atoning sacrifice? Reflecting a transactional relationship with God. Would you buy tickets to that show? We need a more credible narrative, consistent with Jesus’ core teaching of abundant love, around the Genesis story founded in original blessing, of God’s love and how we can grow and fulfill our human potential for the good of all.

The father of the prodigal son and the vineyard owner portrayed in the parables exemplify a God of unconditional love. Anthony de Mello, in one of his meditations, describes God’s love as being like a rose offering up its scent, a light illuminating the darkness or a tree offering shade – all without considering whether anyone might benefit. Love freely given.

In a recent webinar, Ilia Delio said “God is a name symbolic of divine mystery, incomprehensible. We don’t even know what the human person is; which has divine potential within.” How do we realise this potential? At his 1994 inauguration, Nelson Mandella quoted this poem by Marianne Williamson:

Let Our Own Light Shine

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

A positive view of ourselves, made in the image of God, should give us confidence to realise our fullest human potential, to be the best that we can be. At our May meeting we shall consider some insights into how we could accomplish this.

Butterfly Series – Next Meeting

We shall consider this 30-minute video of a talk given by Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox:

Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet

Matthew Fox is an internationally acclaimed spiritual theologian, formerly a Catholic Dominican priest and now an Episcopal priest, and activist. He holds a doctorate in History and Theology of Spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris and has devoted 45 years to developing and teaching the tradition of Creation Spirituality. He has written 37 books that have been translated into other languages over 70 times, including Original Blessing (2000) and Creativity (2005).
There is also a short pre-meeting paper to read and reflect upon, available by email and on our Facebook page, please allow yourself sufficient time before the meeting to prepare.

Our Episode 18 meeting will be held on Zoom at 6:00pm AEST on Tuesday 16 May 2023. Come early to meet the others there. Use this link to join the meeting. The zoom meeting will open at 5:45pm.

To register your attendance, please email John at If you are concerned about your ability to participate in these zoom meetings, we can accommodate you by simply allowing you to listen. Just let us know.

Doctrine of Discovery

Did you know that in 1455 Pope Nicholas V issued a proclamation “Romanus Pontifex” that provided legal authority to empower the Christian kings of Europe to enslave, plunder and slaughter in the name of discovery? Thus, the colonising authority of the invaders was established at the expense of the rights of the indigenous peoples.

This “doctrine of discovery” was formally repudiated by the Vatican on 30 March 2023. This doctrine has underpinned the suppression of indigenous peoples’ rights to this day and is the primary cause of the discontent we see. This abuse of their rights needs to be acknowledged and set right.

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Go well…

John Scoble & Robert van Mourik


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