two yellow roses called wedding day

Fr Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1st May 1881-10th April 1955).

I believe that the universe is an evolution. I believe that evolution proceeds toward spirit. I believe that, in man, spirit is fully realized in person. I believe that the supremely personal is the universal Christ.

In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it has happened.

In order to keep within copyright laws, I have greatly abridged a most powerful essay of Teilhard's. The original is titled The Meaning and Constructive Value of Suffering. Please download the shortened version from here. The shorter Meaning and Constructive Value of Suffering. If you wish to read the full version, you may find it, translated by Noel Lindsay, on pp.23-6 of Teilhard de Chardin: Pilgrim of the Future published in 1965 by DLT as a Libra book. Or in Elizabeth Basset's anthology Love is my Meaning on pp.127-130.

To adore; that means to lose oneself in the unfathomable, to plunge into the inexhaustible, to find peace in the incorruptible, to be absorbed in undefined immensity, to offer oneself to the fire of transparency, to annihilate oneself in proportion as one becomes more deliberately conscious of oneself, and to give of ones deepest to that, whose depth has no end.

Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfil them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves. All we need is to imagine our ability to love developing until it embraces the totality of men and the earth.

Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world... Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis. from 'Activation of Energy'.

Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.

The most satisfying thing in life is to have been able to give a large part of one's self to others.

The world is round so that friendship may encircle it.

It is our duty as men and women to proceed as though the limits of our abilities do not exist. We are collaborators in creation.

Everything that rises must converge.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.(from Le Phénomène Humain 1955.)

We are one, after all, you and I. Together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.

Our faith imposes on us a right and duty to throw ourselves into the things of the earth.

It is the whole of my being, Lord Christ, that you would have me give you, tree and fruit alike, the finished work as well as the harnessed power, the opus together with the operation.

Lord Christ, you who are as gentle as the human heart, as fiery as the forces of nature, as intimate as life itself, you in whom I can melt away and with whom I have mastery and freedom: I love you as a world, as this world which has captivated my heart. It is you, I now realize, that my brother-men, even those who do not believe, sense and seek throughout the magic immensities of the cosmos.

One sees that Christianity can only survive and triumph when, through its vision of things, it shows itself capable of activating to the maximum degree, Man's energy of "self-evolution". In other words, if the Church is to succeed in the eyes of Man, not only must it "amorize" the World (i.e., teach it to love) more than any religion does, it must also "valorize" it (i.e., teach it to know its own worth).

At a certain time in your life you realize that you have only two choices: genuflect before something greater than yourself or begin to self-destruct.

To adore: that means to lose oneself; in the unfathomable, to plunge into the inexaustible, to find peace in the incorruptible, to be absorbed in defined immensity, to offer oneself to the fire and the transparency, to annihilate oneself in proportion as one becomes more deliberately conscious of oneself, and to give of one's deepest to that whose depth has no end.

"...the supremely unifying amputations of suffering..." This phrase is used by Teilhard in a letter to Fr. Auguste Valensin in a letter dated 12th December, 1919 in Paris.

The three books of his Christian mystical writings, in the order that they were written, are Writings in Time of War, The Divine Milieu and The Heart of Matter.