In my previous devotional, I spoke some of the theology of Teilhard de Chardin, Catholic theologian and paleontologist of the last century who revolutionized theology by imaging ways in which creation and evolution might be viewed as not contradictions but interconnected ideas. Chardin imagined Christ’s cosmic presence in all things as expressed in the process of evolution itself. This process found in all of life was, in his mind, guiding us and all creation into a Christlikeness through which all things can eventually become embodiments of love.
I thought it would be helpful to share a few poems and prayers of Teilhard’s, which beautifully portray his understanding of the cosmic Christ.
First, we have his poem, 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.