I’ve been anxious these past few days. I’ve been frightened, terrified of not getting what I so desperately hope for, pee-my-panties scared that ONCE AGAIN I will come so close and lose out at the last minute. While at work, during the absolute worst moments of fear –
Will I get the job? Won’t I? Will she hire some unknown competitor, someone surely more qualified than I? What will I do? Will I be forced to keep working at this job I can’t stand? Can my physical body and psychological well being withstand the enormous demands being made upon it? Will I ever have work that is respected at all?
-I asked God to direct my attention to a prayer that would calm my mind and help me keep going in the midst of this self-inflicted crazy.
I asked God… and Google answered.
I discovered a new spiritual mentor, a man to pattern my thinking after, a new hero to add to my collection of giants: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
He was a man who challenged the dogmatic with his mysticism, who embraced reason yet loved his faith, who chased the mystery; a man like me: frequently frustrated yet always trying.
Here is what he wrote:
Meditation on Patient Trust
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ; excerpted from Hearts on Fire
About the author:
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit paleontologist who worked to understand evolution and faith. He was born May 1, 1881, and died on April 10, 1955. Between these days Teilhard fully participated in a life that included priesthood, living and working in the front lines of World War I, field work exploring the early origins of the human race, and adventurous travels of discovery in the backlands of China. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was well known for possessing a rich intellectual life expressed through his imaginative, mystical writings on the evolutionary nature of the world and the cosmos.
In his thinking and writing Teilhard studied the intimate relationship between the evolutionary development of the material and the spiritual world, leading him to celebrate the sacredness of matter infused with the Divine presence. Teilhard suffered from the rejection of his writings by ecclesiastical authorities and—perhaps felt more severely by him—by the Jesuit leadership; none of his books on the juxtaposition of spirituality, christianity, science and evolution were published during his lifetime.
Though he didn’t receive significant recognition or praise during his lifetime, numerous societies exist today which further De Chardin’s way of thinking, his philosophical and theological interests, and to pay homage to a great man who had the courage to think great thoughts.
For more of his biography, please click here
You can download two of his more famous work by clicking the links below
“The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.”
“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
“There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe.”
“Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.”
“Do not forget that the value and interest of life is not so much to do conspicuous things…as to do ordinary things with the perception of their enormous value.”
“It doesn’t matter if the water is cold or warm if you’re going to have to wade through it anyway.”
“God is not remote from us. He is at the point of my pen, my (pick) shovel, my paint brush, my (sewing) needle – and my heart and thoughts.”
“Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven’t committed.”
“The world, this palpable world, which we were wont to treat with the boredom and disrespect with which we habitually regard places with no sacred association for us, is in truth a holy place, and we did not know it. Venite, adoremus.”
“The future is more beautiful than all the pasts.”
“He that will believe only what he can fully comprehend must have a long head or a very short creed.”