Season of Creation in the Company of Teilhard de Chardin (Days 26-30)
September 26, 2021
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

September 26

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth (Ephesians 1:3-10).


Under what form, and with what end in view, has the Creator given us, and still preserves in us, the gift of participated being? Under the form of an essential aspiration towards him—and with a view to the unhoped-for cleaving which is to make us one and the same complex thing with him. The action by which God maintains us in the field of his presence is a unitive transformation. Let us go further still. What is the supreme and complex reality for which the divine operation moulds us ? It is revealed to us by St. Paul and St. John. It is the quantitative repletion and the qualitative consummation of all things: it is the mysterious Pleroma, in which the substantial one and the created many fuse without confusion in a whole which, without adding anything essential to God, will nevertheless be a sort of triumph and generalisation of being.

At last we are nearing our goal. What is the active centre, the living link, the organising soul of the Pleroma? St. Paul, again, proclaims it with all his resounding voice: it is he in whom everything is reunited, and in whom all things are consummated—through “whom the whole created edifice receives its consistency—Christ dead and risen qui replet omnia in quo omnia constant [who fills all things and in whom all things hold together] .... “We shall then see with a wave of joy that the divine omnipresence translates itself within our universe by the network of the organising forces of the total Christ. God exerts pressure, in us and upon us— through the intermediary of all the powers of heaven, earth and hell—only in the act of forming and consummating Christ who saves and sur-animates the world. And since, in the course of this operation, Christ himself does not act as a dead or passive point of convergence, but as a centre of radiation for the energies which lead the universe back to God through his humanity, the layers of divine action finally come to us impregnated with his organic energies.

The divine milieu henceforward assumes for us the savour and the specific features which we desire. In it we recognise an omnipresence which acts upon us by assimilating us in it, in unitate corporis Christi [in the unity of the body of Christ]. As a consequence of the Incarnation, the divine immensity has transformed itself for us into the omnipresence of christification. All the good that I can do opus et operatio [work and action] is physically gathered in, by something of itself, into the reality of the consummated Christ. Everything I endure, with faith and love, by way of diminishment or death, makes me a little more closely an integral part of his mystical body. Quite specifically it is Christ whom we make or whom we undergo in all things (DM).


Because you ascended into heaven after having descended into hell, you have so filed the universe in every direction, Jesus, that henceforth it is blessedly impossible for us to escape you. Quo ibo a spiritu tuo, et quo a facie tua fugiam [Where can I go from your spirit, and where can I flee from your face?]. Now I know that for certain. Neither life, whose advance increases your hold upon me; nor death, which throws me into your hands; nor the good or evil spiritual powers which are your living instruments; nor the energies of matter into which you have plunged; nor the irreversible stream of duration whose rhythm and flow you control without appeal; nor the unfathomable abysses of space which are the measure of your greatness, neque mors, neque vita, neque angeli, neque principatus, neque potestates, neque virtutes, neque instantia, neque futura, neque fortitudo, neque altitudo, neque profundum, neque ulla creatura [neither death, nor life, neither angels, nor principalities, not heavenly powers, or virtues, neither the present, nor the future, not height nor depth, nor any other creature] —none of these things will be able to separate me from your substantial love, because they are all only the veil, the “species” under which you take hold of me in order that I may take hold of you (DM).

September 27

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all (Ephesians 1:15-23).


Across the immensity of time and the disconcerting multiplicity of individuals, one single operation is taking place: the annexation to Christ of his chosen; one single thing is being made: the mystical body of Christ, starting from all the sketchy spiritual powers scattered throughout the world. Hoc est Corpus meum [This is my Body].  Nobody in the world can save us, or lose us, in our despite; that is true. But it is also true that our salvation is not pursued or achieved except in solidarity with the justification of the whole “body of the elect.” In a real sense, only one man will be saved: Christ, the head and living summary of humanity. Each one of the elect is called to see God face to face. But his act of vision will be vitally inseparable from the elevating and illuminating action of Christ. In heaven we ourselves shall contemplate God, but, as it were, through the eyes of Christ.

If this is so, then our individual mystical effort awaits an essential completion in its union with the mystical effort of all other men. The divine milieu which will ultimately be one in the Pleroma, must begin to become one during the earthly phase of our existence. So that although the Christian who hungers to live in God may have attained all possible purity of desire, faith in prayer, and fidelity in action, the divinisation of his universe is still open to vast possibilities. It would still remain for him to link his elemental work to that of all the labourers who surround him. The innumerable partial worlds which envelop the diverse human monads press in upon him from all around. His task is to rekindle his own ardour by contact with the ardour of all these foci, to make his own sap communicate with that circulating in the other cells, to receive or propagate movement and life for the common benefit, and to adapt himself to the common temperature and tension (DM).


Because, Lord, by every innate impulse and through all the hazards of my life I have been driven ceaselessly to search for you and to set you in the heart of the universe of matter, I shall have the joy, when death comes, of closing my eyes amidst the splendour of a universal transparency aglow with fire. . . It is as if the fact of bringing together and connecting the two poles, tangible and intangible, external and internal, of the world which bears us onwards had caused everything to burst into flames and set everything free. In the guise of a tiny baby in its mother’s arms, obeying the great laws of birth and infancy, you came, Lord Jesus, to dwell in my infant-soul; and then, as you re-enacted in me — and in so doing extended the range of — your growth through the Church, that same humanity which once was born and dwelt in Palestine began now to spread out gradually everywhere like an iridescence of unnumbered hues through which, without destroying anything, your presence penetrated — and endued with supervitality — every other presence about me. And all this took place because, in a universe which was disclosing itself to me as structurally convergent, you, by right of your resurrection, had assumed the dominating position of all-inclusive Centre in which everything is gathered together.

September 28

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
   did not regard equality with God
   as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
   taking the form of a slave,
   being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
   he humbled himself
   and became obedient to the point of death—
   even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
   and gave him the name
   that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
   every knee should bend,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
   that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:5-11).


The Cross has always been a symbol of conflict, and a principle of selection, among men. The Faith tells us that it is by the willed attraction or repulsion exercised upon souls by the Cross that the sorting of the good seed from the bad, the separation of the chosen elements from the unutilisable ones, is accomplished at the heart of mankind. Wherever the Cross appears, unrest and antagonisms are inevitable. But there is no reason why these conflicts should be needlessly exacerbated by preaching the doctrine of Christ crucified in a discordant or provocative manner. Far too often the Cross is presented for our adoration, not so much as a sublime end to be attained by our transcending ourselves, but as a symbol of sadness, of limitation and repression. This way of preaching the Passion is, in many cases, merely the result of the clumsy use of pious vocabulary in which the most solemn words (sacrifice, immolation, expiation), emptied of their meaning by routine, are used, quite unconsciously, in a light and frivolous way. They become formulas to be juggled with....

In its highest and most general sense, the doctrine of the Cross is that to which all men adhere who believe that the vast movement and agitation of human life opens on to a road which leads somewhere, and that that road climbs upward. Life has a term: therefore it imposes a particular direction, orientated, in fact, towards the highest possible spiritualisation by means of the greatest possible effort. To admit that group of fundamental principles is already to range oneself among the disciples—distant, perhaps, and implicit, but nevertheless real—of Christ crucified. Once that first choice has been made, the first distinction has been drawn between the brave who will succeed and the pleasure-seekers who will fail, between the elect and the condemned....

It is perfectly true that the Cross means going beyond the frontiers of the sensible world and even, in a sense, breaking with it. The final stages of the ascent to which it calls us compel us to cross a threshold, a critical point, where we lose touch with the zone of the realities of the senses. That final “excess” glimpsed and accepted from the first steps, inevitably puts everything we do in a special light and gives it a particular significance. That is exactly where the folly of Christianity lies in the eyes of the “wise” who are not prepared to stake the good which they now hold in their hands on a total “beyond.” But that agonising flight from the experimental zones—which is what the Cross means—is only (as should be strongly emphasised) the sublime aspect of a law common to all life. Towards the peaks, shrouded in mist from our human eyes, whither the Cross beckons us, we rise by a path which is the way of universal progress. The royal road of the Cross is no more nor less than the road of human endeavour supernaturally righted and prolonged. Once we have fully grasped the meaning of the Cross, we are no longer in danger of finding life sad and ugly. We shall simply have become more attentive to its barely comprehensible solemnity.

To sum up, Jesus on the Cross is both the symbol and the reality of the immense labour of the centuries which has, little by little, raised up the created spirit and brought it back to the depths of the divine milieu. He represents (and in a true sense, he is) creation, as, upheld by God, it reascends the slopes of being, sometimes clinging to things for support, sometimes tearing itself from them in order to pass beyond them, and always compensating, by physical suffering, for the setbacks caused by its moral downfalls. The Cross is therefore not inhuman but superhuman (DM).


As the years go by, Lord, I come to see more and more clearly, in myself and in those around me, that the great secret preoccupation of modern man is much less to battle for possession of the world than to find a means of escaping from it. The anguish of feeling that one is not merely spatially but ontologically imprisoned in the cosmic bubble; the anxious search for an issue to, or more exactly a focal point for, the evolutionary process: these are the price we must pay for the growth of planetary consciousness; these are the dimly-recognized burdens which weigh down the souls of Christian and gentile alike in the world of today. Now that humanity has become conscious of the movement which carries it onwards it has more and more need of finding, above and beyond itself, an infinite objective, an infinite issue, to which it can wholly dedicate itself. And what is this infinity? The effect of twenty centuries of mystical travail has been precisely to show us that the Baby of Bethlehem, the Man on the Cross, is also the Principle of all movement and the unifying Centre of the world: how then can we fail to identify this God not merely of the old cosmos but also of the new cosmogenesis, this God so greatly sought after by our generation, with you, Lord Jesus, you who make him visible to our eyes and bring him close to us?

September 29

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:15-20)


If it is true, as we know from the Creed, that souls enter so intimately into Christ and God, and if it is true, as we know from the most general conclusions of psychoanalysis, that the perceptible enters vitally into the most spiritual zones of our souls—then we must also recognise that in the whole process which from first to last activates and directs the elements of the universe, everything forms a single whole. And we begin to see more distinctly the great sun of Christ the King, of Christ amictus mundo [clothed with the world], of the universal Christ, rising over our interior world. Little by little, stage by stage, everything is finally linked to the supreme centre in quo omnia constant [in whom all things hold together]. The streams which flow from this centre operate not only within the higher reaches of the world, where human activities take place in a distinctively supernatural and meritorious form. In order to save and establish these sublime forces, the power of the Word Incarnate penetrates matter itself; it goes down into the deepest depths of the lower forces. And the Incarnation will be complete only when the part of chosen substance contained in every object—given spiritual import once in our souls and a second time with our souls in Jesus—shall have rejoined the final centre of its completion. Quid est quod ascendity nisi quod prius descendit, ut repleret omnia? [The one who descended is himself also the one who ascended far above the heavens that he might fill all things]. It is through the collaboration which he stimulates in us that Christ, starting from all created things, is consummated and attains his plenitude. St. Paul himself tells us so. (DM).


You, Lord Jesus, are the epitome and the crown of all perfection, human and cosmic. No flash of beauty, no enchantment of goodness, no element of force, but finds in you the ultimate refinement and consummation of itself. To possess you is in truth to hold gathered into a single object the perfect assemblage of all that the universe can give us and make us dream of. The unique savour of the glory and wonder of your being has so effectively drawn out from the earth and synthetized all the most exquisite savours that the earth contains or can suggest that now we can find them, endlessly, one after another according to our desires, in you — you the Bread that ‘holds within it every delight’. You who are yourself the plenitudo entis creati, the fullness of created being, Lord Jesus. are also the plenitudo entis mei, the fullness of my own personal being, and of all living creatures who accept your dominion. In you and in you alone, as in a boundless abyss, our powers can launch forth into activity and find surcease for their tensions, can show their full capacity without encountering any limitation, can plunge into love and into the wild abandon of love with the certainty of finding in your depths no wreck-rocks of failure, no shallows of pettiness, no currents of perverted truth.

By you and by you alone, who are the entire and proper object of our love and the creative energy that fathoms the secrets of our hearts and the mystery of our growth, our souls are awakened, sensitized, enlarged, to the utmost limit of their latent potentialities. And under your influence and yours alone, the sheath of organic isolation and of wilful egoism which separates the monads from one another is cleft asunder and dissolves, and the multitude of souls rush on towards that union which is necessary for the maturity of the world.

Thus a third plenitude is added to the other two. In a very real sense, Lord Jesus, you are the plenitudo entium, the full assemblage of all the beings who shelter, and meet and are forever united, within the mystical bonds of your body. In your breast, my God, better than in any embrace, I possess all those whom I love and who are illumined by your beauty and in their turn illumine you with the rays of light (so powerful in their effect on our hearts) which they receive from you and send back to you. That multitude of beings, so daunting in its magnitude, that I so long to help, to enlighten, to lead to you: it is already there, Lord, gathered together within you. Through you I can reach into the inmost depths of every being and endow them with whatever I will — provided that I know how to ask you, and that you permit it.

September 30

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.  See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority (Colossians 2:6-19).


One may say that, in relation to all the main historical forms assumed by the human religious spirit, christian mysticism extracts all that is sweetest and strongest circulating in all the human mysticisms, though without absorbing their evil or suspect elements. It shows an astonishing equilibrium between the active and the passive, between possession of the world and its renunciation, between a taste for things and an indifference to them. But there is really no reason why we should be astonished by this shifting harmony, for is it not the natural and spontaneous reaction of the soul to the stimulus of a milieu which is exactly, by nature and grace, the one in which that soul is made to live and develop itself? Just as, at the centre of the divine milieu, all the sounds of created being are fused, without being confused, in a single note which dominates and sustains them (that seraphic note, no doubt, which bewitched St. Francis), so all the powers of the soul begin to resound in response to its call; and these multiple tones, in their turn, compose themselves into a single, ineffably simple vibration in which all the spiritual nuances—of love and of the intellect, of zeal and of tranquillity, of fullness and of ecstasy, of passion and of indifference, of assimilation and of surrender, of rest and of motion—are born and pass and shine forth, according to the times and the circumstances, like the countless possibilities of an inward attitude, inexpressible and unique. To have access to the divine milieu is to have found the one thing needful: him who burns by setting fire to everything that we would love badly or not enough; him who calms by eclipsing with his blaze everything that we would love too much; him who consoles by gathering up everything that has been snatched from our love or has never been given to it. To reach those priceless layers is to experience, with equal truth, that one has need of everything, and that one has need of nothing. Everything is needed because the world will never be large enough to provide our taste for action with the means of grasping God, or our thirst for undergoing with the possibility of being invaded by him. And yet nothing is needed; for as the only reality which can satisfy us lies beyond the transparencies in which it is mirrored, everything that fades away and dies between us will only serve to give reality back to us with greater purity. Everything means both everything and nothing to me; everything is God to me and everything is dust to me: that is what man can say with equal truth, in accord with how the divine ray falls (DM).


In truth, Lord, there is no need for me to force either my mind or things in order to perceive a source of life even in the mystery of that second death. We do not have to peer very closely into that outer darkness to discover in it a great tension and a further deepening of your greatness. I know that the powers of evil, considered in their deliberate and malign action, can do nothing to trouble the divine milieu around me. As they try to penetrate into my universe, their influence (if I have enough faith) suffers the lot common to all created energy; caught up and twisted round by your irresistible energy, temptations and evils are converted into good and fan the fires of love. I know, too, that considered from the point of view of the void created by their defection from the mystical body, the fallen spirits cannot detract from the perfection of the Pleroma. Each soul that is lost in spite of the call of grace ought to spoil the perfection of the final and general union; but instead, O God, you offset it by one of those recastings which restore the the universe at every moment to a new freshness and a new purity. The damned are not excluded from the Pleroma, but only from its luminous aspect, and from its beatification. They lose it, but they are not lost to it (DM).