Saturday, June 14, 2014

Spirituality: From "The Divine Milieu" by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

The gift which you call on me to make to these brothers and sisters - the only gift which my heart can make - is not the overwhelming tenderness of those specially privileged affections which you have placed in our lives as the most potent created factor of our interior growth, but something less sweet, but just as real, and more strong. Between myself and others, and with the help of your Eucharist, you want the fundamental attraction (which is already dimly felt in all love, if it is strong) to be made manifest - what mystically transforms the myriad of rational creatures into a kind of single monad in you, Jesus Christ. You want me to be drawn towards "others," not by simple personal sympathy, but by what is much higher: the united affinities of a world for itself, and of that world for God.

You do not ask for the psychologically impossible - since what I am asked to cherish in the vast and unknown crowd is never anything save one and the same personal being in which is yours.

Nor do you call for any hypocritical protestations of love for neighbor, because - since my heart cannot reach your person except at the depths of all that is most individually and concretely personal in every "other" - it is to "others" themselves, and not to some vague entity around them, that my charity is addressed.

No, you do not ask anything false or unattainable of me. You merely, through your revelation and your grace, force what is most human in me to become conscious of itself at last. Humanity was sleeping - it is still sleeping - imprisoned in the narrow joys of its little closed loves. A tremendous spiritual power is slumbering in the depths of our multitude, which will manifest itself only when we have learnt to break down the barriers of our egoisms and, by a fundamental recasting of our outlook, raise ourselves up to the habitual and practical vision of universal realities.

Jesus, Savior of human activity to which you have given meaning, Savior of human suffering to which you have given living value, be also the Savior of human unity; compel us to discard our pettiness, and to venture forth, resting upon you, into the uncharted oceans of charity.