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Spirituality

Preview: God is always new

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Several years ago, I was a senior fellow at Woodstock Theological Center working on questions in science and religion. One day, the program manager appeared at my door and asked if I wanted some boxes of notes that had been taking up space in his office. The notes happened to be those of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and he did not know what to do with them. Woodstock had inherited the notes from Nicole Schmitz-Moorman, whose father, Karl Schmitz-Moorman, inherited the notes after Teilhard's death. Karl bequeathed the notes to his daughter, who, in turn, donated them to Woodstock.

What shepherding requires

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Four neighbor women gather their teenage children as the smog-filtered sun begins to rise. The mothers check backpacks and bundles, all the while giving directions. Do this, don't do that. Go here, don't go there. Keep clean. Pray. Every day, pray. Everyone is frightened, confused. Each holds on to another as if existence itself depends on the feel of skin on skin. The teens hold back tears. The mothers' eyes are overflowing.

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