Grateful for Quantum Entanglement!
November 15 , 2015 – Rev. Jan Hryniewicz
Text: Psalm 100 & Colossians 3: 12 – 17
Thank you all for expressing the little things in your lives that inspire gratitude and praise….moments that brighten your days, lighten your hearts, lift your spirits and make you smile.
Many of these precious moments might be lost in the stress and busyness of our schedules….may go unnoticed and unappreciated.
Sue Maccalous wrote: I am thankful each and every day that my feet hit the floor and I can greet the morning…watch my sweet chickadees flitting about in the trees….they are so faithful and bring bits of joy to my heart!
Lisa Barstow wrote: I am grateful for so many things- right now for the chance to visit my beautiful grand daughter and wonderful stepson!
Deborah Burke wrote: If I was to give a Thank You, I would give a shout out to the seasons and the gifts of joy each season brings. I adore each season. Each one is a miracle of thanksgiving for life.
When I am working at my computer in the home office, focusing on creating the bulletin, writing a sermon….answering emails, my insatiable dog Belle, will come in and nudge me with her cold, wet nose….and gaze at me longingly to notice her and toss the ball for her. Often reluctantly, grumpily I give in to her begging and take her outside for a short time…..and I am always glad I took the break, refreshed my spirit, laughed at her antics. I am so so grateful for her boundless energy and love in my life.
We all know the “big things” for which we are grateful….our homes, families and friends, food to eat, our mother Earth with her rich resources, our freedom and opportunities in this nation, our religious faith…indeed, our very lives. When we watch the tragic, terrifying assault on Paris, we want to clutch our loved ones close ….even more grateful for each precious, beloved life. ‘Tis the season to express the gratitude we feel every day of our lives.
For some people, Thanksgiving is just another occasion for feasting and football.
I believe it was Erma Bombeck who said that the most remarkable thing about her mother is that for thirty years, even on thanksgiving, she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
Robert Orben , best known as a comedy writer, reports on the practice of raising your own holiday turkey. He says some people are squeamish about this, but not him. “One January we bought a turkey who became like a member of the family,” says Orben. “We kept him in the house, fed him, and took him for walks. But when the time came, there was no nonsense about it. We had him for Thanksgiving dinner. He sat on my right.”
Thanksgiving is a traditional holiday of feast, football and family which is ignored by merchants and media who are busy promoting Halloween and Christmas! It is one day the nation has set aside to encourage thankfulness and remembrance. ….one day out of 365! Quite obviously, thanks giving needs to be a habit of the heart that is part of every day.
I love the quote from the wonderful English poet John Milton: Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter every day epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.
It is these everyday encounters and epiphanies that I am very grateful for!… the new perspectives and inspiration.
If we are attentive to all the tiny and huge things for which we feel grateful, we can’t help but fall on our knees and give thanks to the Divine Creator who inspires it all. I am thankful for all the mysteries of life which assure me that there is a More….an energy ….a force that is beyond my understanding and even beyond my wildest imagination. A Divine Spirit of creative, loving, peace-filled energy that flows though the universe and through our minds and souls….inspiring goodness and compassion, and battling the forces of evil which threaten and contaminate the Creator’s vision of wholeness and peace. This divine energy works constantly on our behalf.
Everyday, I am grateful for the daily meditation of Fr. Richard Rohr, which always makes me think and inspires reflection. This past week, his reflection on Quantum Entanglement peaked , first my curiosity and then my interest. What is quantum entanglement!?
Perhaps the term “quantum entanglement” names something that we have long intuited, but science has only recently observed. Here is the principle in layperson’s terms: in the world of quantum physics, it appears that one particle of any entangled pair “knows” what is happening to another paired particle–even though there is no known means for such information to be communicated between the particles, which are separated by sometimes very large distances. Could this be what is happening when we “pray” for somebody?”
Could this be the work of the Holy Spirit?
After I read the article and definitions, I felt I should contact Dr. Sheldon Cooper of Big Bang fame to explain it all to me!
Sounded like some of the over our heads rhetoric he spouts forth on that hit TV series.
Fr. Richard Rohr writes: “ Quantum entanglement hints at a universe where everything is in relationship, in communion, and also where that communion can be resisted (“sin”). Both negative and positive entanglement in the universe matter, maybe even ultimately matter. Prayer, intercession, healing, love and hate, heaven and hell, all make sense on a whole new level.
The simple image of still water on a glassy, clear lake came to my mind. How a heavy stone tossed into the middle of it, will create circles…. ripples of water that flow outward affecting, influencing the habitat….even the shore which it touches. Our energy, positive or negative creates a ripple effect for good or evil.
Fr. Rohr goes on to say: The Holy Spirit is foundationally described as the field of love between the Father and the Son. One stays in this positive force field whenever one loves, cares, or serves with positive energy. I know that when people stand in this place, when they rest in love as their home base, they become quite usable by God, and their lives are filled with “quantum entanglements” that result in very real healings, forgiveness, answered prayers, and new freedom for those whom they include in the force field with them.
Do you love that as much as I do!? What an amazing description of the Holy Spirit and its influence in the universe and in our daily existence. I am grateful…every single day…. for the insight and wisdom of Fr. Richard Rohr and other wonderful contemplative scholars who expand my understanding of the Divine energy in the universe. The influence and power of the Holy Spirit to inspire quantum entanglements is apparent in the lives of religious seekers and spiritual mystics, theologians and prophets…. in Jesus and in St Paul and those who have chosen a lifestyle of communion with the Divine and with their brothers and sisters.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor imprisoned in 1943 for his political and Christian opposition to the Nazi regime, understood thanksgiving. For two years he was imprisoned at times the war raging all around him. His cell wall was struck by collateral damage, the window was blown out and he endured the miserable cold German winter for days on end. On the day of sentencing he conducted a service for the other prisoners. One of those prisoners, an English officer who survived, wrote these words:
Bonhoeffer always seemed to me to spread an atmosphere of happiness and joy over the least incident, and profound gratitude for the mere fact that he was alive… He was one of the very few persons I have ever met for whom God was real and always near… On Sunday, April 8, 1945, Pastor Bonhoeffer conducted a little service of worship and spoke to us in a way that went to the heart of all of us. He found just the right words to express the spirit of our imprisonment, and the thoughts and resolutions it had brought us. He had hardly ended his last prayer when the door opened and two civilians entered. They said, “Prisoner Bonhoeffer, come with us.” That had only one meaning for all prisoners–the gallows. We said good-bye to him. He took me aside [and whispered in my ear]: “This is the end; but for me it is the beginning of life.” The next day he was hanged in Flossenburg.
The beginning of life. How is it that Bonhoeffer worshiped God in a Gestapo prison with the gallows in view? How could he feel gratitude in that horrific situation?
Because of his communion with God….his quantum entanglement with the energy of the Spirit which lifted him beyond the darkness to a place of peace and light. Oh that we might become so entangled.
Out of great suffering have come the greatest expressions of gratitude.
Psalm 100 that Anne read for us this morning is a beautiful and familiar hymn of Thanksgiving. It, as many psalms do, calls forth feelings of awe and praise to an incredible Creator. They call us to remember the faithfulness of God in times of trouble and hardship. This psalm calls forth our humility. When we are truly grateful we humbly recognize that we are indebted to God, that we are united with God in the ongoing work of the universe. In the first two verses there is call to all the earth to come and worship, worship the Lord with Gladness. In the next two verses the psalmist calls upon the world to recognize that it is God who has made us…and who provides the energy and inspiration for our life journeys. We are not in this wild and crazy world all on our own! This psalm also reminds us of the eternal goodness of God whose love and mercy endures forever and ever. It’s an eternal presence. Much, much to be grateful for in that! We can be grateful for this awe-inspiring divine/human quantum entanglement!
Of all the disciples, Paul may be the one who exemplifies best that’s it’s not all about what’s up here in the head. It’s not just about knowledge and belief, doctrine and dogma. But rather our faith is all about what’s in here, the heart and soul and how they guide all that we do so that the love of God emanates through everything we do. Paul believed that Jesus was the clear example of one who was in constant communion with God…who lived a life of kindness, humility, gentleness, compassion and love. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” Paul writes in this letter to the Colossians. For you were called to peace….and be thankful! Paul called the early Christians to cultivate a deep and abiding relationship with God that would permeate both their words and deeds….to follow the example that Jesus set and they could not go wrong.
As Fr. Rohr has suggested, perhaps the theory of quantum entanglement explains the power of prayer….our spiritual energy can and does affect the spiritual energy of another. ….. as the divine energy of God affects the universe.
We carry in our hearts, minds and souls….the energy of those who have gone before us. The theory of quantum entanglement hints at this. We have been and still are affected by the ripples, both good and evil…. of those whose spirit still influences us.
On Veteran’s day, in response to the email I sent out, Gail Quinney wrote back to me: My Dad was career service (Died of cancer ) who died while still on active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis and I grew up living on military bases. Thank you for sending this out especially since we now fight wars with only one percent of the population doing the fighting. The rest of us really don’t feel the effects like those of service families. God Bless them all, especially the families.
All of our lives have been and continue to be affected by acts of war and violence. Most families have had to sacrifice at least one loved one to military service to
defend our nation. Images of severely wounded veterans are painful to see. The ravages of war and terrorism are brutal….devastating…. and surely we owe a debt of gratitude to those who courageously stepped up and step up to defend our freedom and way of life….to try and protect us from acts of violence.
A young woman named Linda was driving alone through the lonely area from Alberta, Canada to the Yukon. She spent one night in one of the rare hotels in the area. The next morning in the breakfast area she was seated near two truckers. They asked where she was going. She said “Whitehorse.” “In that little Civic?” they asked. “It’s dangerous this time of year in this kind of weather.” Linda replied, “Well, I’m determined to try.”
“In that case,” one of the truckers said, “We’re just going to have to hug you.”
Linda drew back and said, “You’re not going to touch me.” The truckers chuckled and said, “Not like that. We’ll put one truck in front of you and one in the rear. In that way, we’ll get you through the mountains.” And so they did.
Most of us need to be and have been hugged along life’s pathway. During this thanks-giving season, let’s be thankful and remember all those who have hugged us along the way. Write them a note, give them a call, say a prayer for them. We are all blessed with quantum entanglements…and they are marvelous, beautiful, spirit-filled things. Amen!