Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Slow Work of God

The need to keep in step with the Spirit is beautifully expressed by the French writer Teilhard de Chardin in this letter to his cousin, Marguerite:

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We 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 today

what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own goodwill)
will make tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of your believing
that His hand is leading you, and of your accepting
the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense
and incomplete.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Making of a Mind: Letters from a Soldier-Priest 1914-1919 (New York: Harper & Row, 1961), 57.

more on Teilhard de Chardin here



Blogger Geoff Pound said...

I love this. Thanks for posting it.

Tiehard sailed to Malaysia in 1923 and reckoned Penang at sunrise was the most beautiful place he had seen.


5:32 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi geoff,

I didn't know he was in Malaya in 1923.

Anyone who appreciates a sunrise in Penang is a true mystic. When are you coming?

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks! This is the first site I've found that gives the source. I needed it for a paper.

9:50 AM  

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