Teilhard de Chardin (b.1881) died on this day in 1955. He was a Jesuit theologian and scientist who pioneered a holistic, earth-cherishing, and mystical spirituality. The French-born priest used his extensive training in geology and paleontology to pursue scientific projects in China and South Africa. However, his attempts to work out a theological synthesis of evolution and Christianity were rejected by Catholic authorities in Rome who forbid him to publish or lecture on religious matters during his lifetime.
The visionary work of Teilhard de Chardin has spurred on many spiritual writers interested in the interplay between mysticism, science, and the grace of God.
To Name This Day:
Prayers & Mantras
Try a mantra Teilhard used to keep himself going: "Always trust life." (from Christ in All Things: Exploring Spirituality with Teilhard de Chardin by Ursula King)
In Cosmic Life, Teilhard de Chardin wrote: "Every encounter that brings me a caress, that spurs me on, that comes as a shock to me, that bruises or breaks me, is a contact with the Hand of God." Be on the lookout today for God's caresses.
Ponder the implications of these quotes:
- "The zest for life, which is the source of all passion and all insight, even divine, does not come to us from ourselves. . . . It is God who has given us the impulse of wanting him." (from The Mystical Milieu)
- "By the love of man and woman a thread is wound that stretches to the heart of the world." (from Sketch of a Personalistic Universe)
For more of the writings of this extraordinary visionary see:
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: Writings selected with an Introduction by Ursula King
- Spirit of Fire: The Life and Vision of Teilhard de Chardin edited by Ursula King