The Slow Work of God

I was reminded, today, by some new good friends, of the work of the Christian mystic and scientist Teilhard de Chardin, a clear embodiment of the Cosmic Christ:

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
TreeWe 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

When I was a student, I had a tendency to insert quotes such as the above into my papers with the assumption that something that cracked my universe open would do the same for others, and needed no explanation.  “No, you have to unpack these things if you’re going to include them,” I heard over and over.  But what can you say about something like this without making it smaller?  I’d rather you read it the way it is and get it the way it delivers itself to you.

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