Season of Creation in the Company of Teihard de Chardin (Oct 1-4)
October 01, 2021
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

October 1

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:1-3a).

Meditation

In the narrow, partitioned and static Cosmos wherein our fathers believed themselves to dwell, Christ was ‘lived’ and loved by His followers, as He is today, as the Being on whom all things depend and in whom the Universe finds its ‘substance’. But this Christological function was not easily defended on rational grounds, at least if the attempt was made to interpret it in a full, organic sense. Accordingly Christian thinking did not especially seek to incorporate it in any precise cosmic order. At that time the Royalty of Christ could be readily expressed in terms of His ascendancy through moral law; or else it was sufficient that He should prevail in the non-experimental, extra-cosmic sphere of the supernatural. Theology, in short, did not seem to realise that every kind of Universe might not be compatible with the idea of an Incarnation. But with the concept of Space-Time, as we have defined it, there comes into effect a harmonious and fruitful conjunction between the two spheres of rational experience and of faith. In a Universe of ‘Conical’ structure Christ has a place (the apex!) ready for Him to fill, whence His Spirit can radiate through all the centuries and all beings; and because of the genetic links running through all the levels of Time and Space between the elements of a convergent world, the Christ-influence, far from being restricted to the mysterious zones of ‘grace’, spreads and penetrates throughout the entire mass of Nature in movement. In such a world Christ cannot sanctify the Spirit without (as the Greek Fathers intuitively perceived) uplifting and saving the totality of Matter. Christ becomes truly universal to the full extent of Christian needs, and in conformity with the deepest aspirations of our age the Cross becomes the Symbol, the Way, the very Act of progress.... Because we love, and in order that we may love even more, we find ourselves happily and especially compelled to participate in all the endeavours, all the anxieties, all the aspirations and also all the affections of the earth -- in so far as these embody a principle of ascension and synthesis. Christian detachment subsists wholly in this wider attitude of mind, but instead of ‘leaving behind’ it leads on; instead of cutting off, it raises. It is no longer a break-away but a way through; no longer a withdrawal but an act of emerging. Without ceasing to be itself, Charity spreads like an ascending force, like a common essence at the heart of all forms of human activity, whose diversity is finally synthesized in the rich totality of a single operation. Like Christ Himself, and in His image, it is universalized, it acquires a dynamic and is humanized by the fact of doing so (Future).

Prayer

Disperse, O Jesus, the clouds with your lightning! Show yourself to us as the Mighty, the Radiant, the Risen! Come to us once again as the Pantocrator who filled the solitude of the cupolas in the ancient basilicas! Nothing less than this Parousia is needed to counter-balance and dominate in our hearts the glory of the world that is coming into view. And so that we should triumph over the world with you, come to us clothed in the glory of the world (DM).

October 2

Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home (2 Peter 3:8-13).

Meditation

We are at the point where, if we are to restore complete equilibrium to the state of psychic disarray which the atomic shock has induced in us, we must sooner or later (sooner?) decide upon our attitude to a fundamental choice; the point where our conflicts may begin again, and fiercely, but by other means and on a different plane. I spoke of the Spirit of the Earth. What are we to understand by that ambiguous phrase? Is it the Promethean or Faustian spirit: the spirit of autonomy and solitude; Man with his own strength and for his own sake opposing a blind and hostile Universe; the rise of consciousness concluding in an act of possession? Is it the Christian spirit, on the contrary: the spirit of service and of giving; Man struggling like Jacob to conquer and attain a supreme center of consciousness which calls to him; the evolution of the earth ending in an act of union? Spirit of force or spirit of love? Where shall we place true heroism, where look for true greatness, where recognize objective truth?....[O]nly the second of which, I think, presents itself to the reflective mind as capable of conferring upon a universe in motion its full spiritual coherence, its total substance beyond death, and finally its whole message for our hearts...What does matter here is to note that Mankind cannot go much further along the road upon which it has embarked through its latest conquests without having to settle (or be divided intellectually on) the question of which summit it must seek to attain. In short, the final effect of the light cast by the atomic fire into the spiritual depths of the earth is to illumine within them the over-riding question of the ultimate end of Evolution -- that is to say, the problem of God (Future).

Prayer

Lord Jesus, Master before whose beauty and all-demanding love we have cause to tremble: turning my eyes away from what my human weakness cannot as yet understand and therefore cannot bear to think about — the idea that there are in reality souls eternally damned — I would at least make the constant sombre menace of damnation a part of my habitual and practical vision of the world, not so much in order to fear you, but rather in order to become more passionately surrendered to you. A moment ago I cried out to you: be to me, Lord Jesus, not only a brother, but a God. And now, panoplied as you are in that fearsome power of choosing and rejecting which places you at the world’s summit as principle of universal attraction and universal repulsion, now you do truly appear to me as that vast and vital force which I sought everywhere that I might adore it. And now I realize that the fires of hell and the fires of heaven are not two different forces but are contrary manifestations of one and the same energy. Let not the hell-flames touch me, Master, nor any of those I love, nor indeed anyone at all (and I know, my Lord and God, that you will forgive me the audacity of my prayer), but may their sombre glow, and all the abysses they reveal, be for each and all of us incorporated into the blazing plenitude of your divine milieu.

October 3

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever (Revelation 22:1-5).

Meditation

Let us conjure up in our minds, as best we can, the vast multitudes of men in every epoch and in every land. According to the catechism we believe that this fearful anonymous throng is, by right, subject to the physical and overmastering contact of him whose appanage it is to be able omnia sibi subicere [subject all things] (by right, and to a certain extent in fact; for who can tell where the diffusion of Christ, with the influence of grace, stops, as it spreads outward from the faithful at the heart of the human family?).  Yes, the human layer of the earth is wholly and continuously under the organising influx of the incarnate Christ. This we all believe, as one of the most certain points of our faith..... Around the earth, the centre of our field of vision, the souls of men form, in some manner, the incandescent surface of matter plunged in God. From the dynamic and biological point of view it is quite as impossible to draw a line below it, as to draw a line between a plant and the environment that sustains it. If, then, the Eucharist is a sovereign influence upon our human natures, then its energy necessarily extends, owing to the effects of continuity, into the less luminous regions that sustain us; descendit ad inferos [descent into hell], one might say. At every moment the eucharistic Christ controls—from the point of view of the organisation of the Pleroma (which is the only true point of view from which the world can be understood)—the whole movement of the universe: the Christ per quem omnia, Domine, semper creas, vivificas et praestas nobis [Through whom, Lord, you continue to make all these good things, fill them with life and bestow them upon us.]

The control of which we are speaking is, at the minimum, a final refinement, a final purification, a final harnessing, of all the elements which can be used in the construction of the New Earth. But how can we avoid going further and believing that the sacramental action of Christ, precisely because it sanctifies matter, extends its influence beyond the pure supernatural, over all that makes up the internal and external ambience of the faithful, that is to say that it sets its mark in everything which we call “our providence?”.... If this is the case, then we find ourselves (by simply having followed the “extensions” of the Eucharist) plunged once again precisely into our divine milieu. Christ—for whom and in whom we are formed, each with his own individuality and his own vocation—Christ reveals himself in each reality around us, and shines like an ultimate determinant, like a centre, one might almost say like a universal element. As our humanity assimilates the material world, and as the Host assimilates our humanity, the eucharistic transformation goes beyond and completes the transubstantiation of the bread on the altar. Step by step it irresistibly invades the universe. It is the fire that sweeps over the heath; the stroke that vibrates through “the bronze.” In a secondary and generalised sense, but in a true sense, the sacramental Species are formed by the totality of the world, and the duration of the creation is the time needed for its consecration. In Christo vivimus, movemur et sumus [In Christ we live and move and have our being] (DM)

Prayer

It is the whole of my being, Lord Jesus, 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. To allay your hunger and slake your thirst, to nourish your body and bring it to its full stature, you need to find in us a substance which will truly be food for you. And this food ready to be transformed into you, this nourishment for your flesh, I will prepare for you by liberating the spirit in myself and in everything: through an effort (even a purely natural effort) to learn the truth, to live the good, to create the beautiful; through cutting away all inferior and evil energies; through practising that charity towards all men which alone can gather up the multitude into a single soul . . .To promote, in however small a degree, the awakening of spirit in the world is to offer to the incarnate Word an increase of reality and stability; it is to allow his influence to grow in intensity around us.

October 4

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
‘See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.’

And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ Then he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children (Revelation 21:1-7).

Meditation

How many of us are genuinely moved in the depths of our hearts by the wild hope that our earth will be recast? Who is there who sets a course in the midst of our darkness towards the first glimmer of a real dawn? Where is the Christian in whom the impatient longing for Christ succeeds, not in submerging (as it should) the cares of human love and human interests, but even in counter-balancing them? Where is the Catholic as passionately vowed by conviction and not by “convention" to spreading the hopes of the Incarnation as are many humanitarians to spreading the dream of the new city? We persist in saying that we keep vigil in expectation of the Master. But in reality we should have to admit, if we were sincere, that we no longer expect anything.

The flame must be revived at all costs. At all costs we must renew in ourselves the desire and the hope for the great Coming. But where are we to look for the source of this rejuvenation? We shall clearly find it, first and foremost, in an increase of the attraction exercised directly by Christ upon his members. And then in an increase of the interest, discovered by our thought, in the preparation and consummation of the Parousia. And from where is this interest itself to spring? From the perception of a more intimate connection between the victory of Christ and the outcome of the work which our human effort here below is seeking to construct....The expectation of heaven cannot remain alive unless it is incarnate. What body shall we give to ours today?

That of a huge and totally human hope. Let us look at the earth around us. What is happening under our eyes within the mass of peoples ? What is the cause of this disorder in society, this uneasy agitation, these swelling waves, these whirling and mingling currents and these turbulent and formidable new impulses? Mankind is visibly passing through a crisis of growth. Mankind is becoming dimly aware of its shortcoming and its capacities....

Those of us who are disciples of Christ must not hesitate to harness this force, which needs us, and which we need. On the contrary, under pain of allowing it to be lost and of perishing ourselves, we should share those aspirations, in essence religious, which make the men of today feel so strongly the immensity of the world, the greatness of the mind, and the sacred value of every new truth. It is in this way that our christian generation will learn again to expect.

Open, then, your arms and your heart, like Christ your Lord, and welcome the waters, the flood and the sap of humanity. Accept it, this sap—for, without its baptism, you will wither, without desire, like a flower out of water; and tend it, since, without your sun, it will disperse itself wildly in sterile shoots. The temptations of too large a world, the seductions of too beautiful a world—where are these now? They do not exist. Now the earth can certainly clasp me in her giant arms. She can swell me with her life, or take me back into her dust. She can deck herself out for me with every charm, with every horror, with every mystery. She can intoxicate me with her perfume of tangibility and unity. She can cast me to my knees in expectation of what is maturing in her breast. . . .But her enchantments can no longer do me harm, since she has become for me, over and above herself, the body of him who is and of him who is coming. The divine milieu (DM).

Prayer

Lord, we know and feel that you are everywhere around us; but it seems that there is a veil before our eyes. Illumina vultum tuum super nos—let the light of your countenance shine upon us in its universality. Sit splendor Domini nostri super nos—may your deep brilliance light up the innermost parts of the massive obscurities in which we move. And, to that end, send us your spirit, Spiritus principalis [the principal Spirit], whose flaming action alone can operate the birth and achievement of the great metamorphosis which sums up all inward perfection and towards which your creation yearns: Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur, et renovabis faciem terrae [Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created, and you will renew the face of the earth]. (DM).

 

Concluding Collect

Eternal God,

the whole cosmos sings of your glory, 

from the dividing of a single cell to the vast expanse of interstellar space:

We bless you for your theologian and scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin,

who perceived the divine in the evolving creation.

Enable us to become faithful stewards of your divine works and heirs of your eternal kingdom;

through Jesus Christ, the ļ¬rstborn of all creation,

who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

(Episcopal Church; April 11)

 

 

Online resources of works by and about Teilhard are available at:

 

Internet Archive (https://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Pierre+Teilhard+de+Chardin%22)

 

On-line Religion (https://www.religion-online.org/?s=Teilhard+de+Chardin).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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