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Moments of Grace


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Since the Big Bang itself, creation has known a handful of moments with the potential to change everything. At the millennium, we face just such a moment— and humans are the cosmic force that will make the difference for good or ill.

This article first appeared in the Winter 2000 issue of Spirituality & Health. As we enter the 21st century, we are experiencing a moment of grace. Such moments are privileged moments. The great transformations of the universe occur at such times. The future is defined in some enduring pattern of its functioning. There are cosmological and historical moments of grace as well as religious moments of grace. The present is one of these moments of transformation that can be considered as all three. Such a moment occurred when the star out of which our solar system was born collapsed in enormous heat, scattering itself as fragments out into the vast realms of space. In the center of this star the elements had been forming through a vast period of time until, in the final heat of this explosion, the more than one hundred elements were present. Only then could the sun, our star, give shape to itself by gathering these fragments together with gravitational power and then leaving some nine spherical shapes sailing in elliptical paths around itself as planetary forms. At this moment Earth, too, could …

Thomas Berry emerged as an insightful, prophetic voice for the environment with the publication of the now-classic The Dream of the Earth in 1988. A historian of cultures who headed the graduate program in the history of religions at Fordham University and founded the Riverdale Center of Religious Research, he is also past president of the American Teilhard de Chardin Society. 

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