Spiritual Reading 29

29. Quotations for Meditation: 1

Heart of Jesus, heart of evolution, unite me to yourself.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin “My Litany” (found after his death written on a picture of the Sacred Heart)

Beneath our individual strivings towards spiritualization, the world slowly accumulates, starting with the whole of matter, that which will make of it the Heavenly Jerusalem or the New Earth.... The only human embrace capable of worthily enfolding the divine is that of all men opening their arms to call down and welcome the fire. The only subject ultimately capable of mystical transfiguration is the whole of mankind forming a single body and a single soul in charity.... We shall never know all that the Incarnation expects of the world’s potentialities. We shall never put enough hope in the growing unity of mankind.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The Heart of Jesus must be lived.

—Joseph Boyle, Abbot of St. Benedict’s Monastery, Snowmass, Colorado

The Heart of Christ at the heart of matter…the Golden Glow…gleaming at the heart of matter.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Under the symbol of the Sacred Heart the divine assumed for me, the form of fire… through its power to become universal this fire proved able to invade and impregnate with love the whole atmosphere of the world in which I lived…. It is in the Sacred Heart that the conjunction of the divine and the cosmic has taken place…. There lies the power that from the beginning has attracted and conquered me…. All the later development of my interior life has been nothing other than the evolution of that seed.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The Sacred Heart: instinctively and mysteriously for me, since my infancy, the synthesis of love and matter, of person and energy. From this there has gradually evolved in me the perception of Omega—the universal cohesion in unity.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: Retreat Notes, 1939-43

A dynamic universe provokes the idea and the understanding of a dynamic God…. This is not a stay-at-home God. This is a God who is deeply immersed in a love affair with the beloved, the creation which flows out of his divine heart. To say that God is love is to mean that God is eternally and dynamically in love.

—Ilia Delio

Liberation theologians… are trying to help God’s people rediscover the liberating message of the scriptures and the liberating meaning of the sacraments. As long as the Gospel and the sacraments are not seen as referring to salvation in this life and the transformation of the world into God’s kingdom, the oppressed peoples of the earth will never fully realize the freedom of God’s sons and daughters for which Jesus died and for which the Church was founded.

—Joseph Martos: Doors to the Sacred

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” The Son, in this wider metaphysical context, is no longer the one who bails us out or rescues us from our fallen state but the one who becomes our bridge between the realms. Recognizing the enormous difficulty of our mission, Jesus comes to accompany us on it, advocating for our human finitude in a way that respects its integrity but doesn’t allow us to get trapped in it. As in the traditional theological understanding (but with a very different flavor), he becomes our mediator. Standing at the confluence of two vastly different orders of being, he offers his own life as the sanctuary between them…. How we get there is the secret Jesus will unfold in…his own consciously sacramental life. Our first step…is to recognize…our own intimate participation in the mystery of love at the heart of all creation.

—Cynthia Bourgeault: The Wisdom Jesus

To focus on Jesus is to focus on how to give the best possible human expression to the divine always present, everywhere, in our universe. To focus on Jesus leads to affirmation of the divine presence with us – and considerable challenge to give that presence “free reign” in all we do. To focus on Jesus is somehow open-ended. Being right or wrong is not the issue. The issue is how to live lives that give clear expression to the divine within all of us.

—Michael Morwood: “Christ? What Happened to Jesus?”

The very fact that this body is still being created allows Christians to see not only that something of great importance is happening in the universe, but also that it has been happening since long before human beings arrived on the scene. Evolution allows us to realize that human beings are invited to participate in the great work of creation. If we fail to keep this evolutionary perspective alive, our sense of ethical obligation—and for Christians, the following of Christ—is in danger of being reduced to blind obedience to arbitrary imperatives and commands or perhaps simply to seeking a reward in the hereafter.

—John Haught: Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God and the Drama of Life

Christ has a cosmic body that extends throughout the universe.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: -Cosmic Life

As he passes from depth to depth in his own heart the awakened disciple reaches the ultimate depth of the Heart of Jesus— a pointer to the ultimate recesses of the source of being. Then, passing beyond all, freed from all bonds, even mental ones, he finally comes to the Source, where, in his eternal awakening, he discovers that he is.

—Dom Henri Le Saux, Abhishiktananda

The resurrection of the body means that the Real Presence of the Absolute is realized in the world in all its ordinariness. The world of mountains and rivers, of bread and wine, of friends and enemies, is all held and displayed in the universal monstrance, the Showing, the phenomenalization of the Absolute. This is, as far as I can see, what the Mysteries, in their various mythic forms and traditions, are trying to tell us.

—Beatrice Buteau

The resurrection brings the world to an end. It is the passage of human nature beyond time and space, and reveals the whole of this spatio-temporal world as a passing phenomenon.

—Bede Griffiths, OSB

Since once again, Lord,...I have neither bread nor wine nor altar I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself; I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and on it will offer you all the labors and suffering of the world.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin