Teilhard de Chardin – A Re-reading (Part 3)

Blog 14 Image Marion Teilhard 3 0ct 4Teilhard composed his Mass on the World when on a dig in China. The opening lines are: Since once again, Lord - though this time not in the forests of the Aisne but in the steppes of Asia - 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 labours and sufferings of the world.

How powerful is the following image:

Blazing Spirit……..be pleased yet once again to come down and breathe a soul into the newly formed, fragile film of matter with which this day the world is to be freshly clothed!

Gerard Manley Hopkins, his fellow Jesuit, has something of a related understanding of the meaning of creation in these lines from ‘God’s Grandeur’

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs - Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

In contemporary Ireland we have echoes of Teilhard de Chardin in some of our mystics and poets. Take John F Deane for example. He finishes one of his recent poems, Name and Nature with the following lines:

He is present, like the embrace of air or the inward forces of the seasons. Your name, Jesus,

 is the river on which I float, your name, Christ, the ocean where everything is in place, is shivering, beautiful, and apart.

 I have been nourished by many great writers over the years, and I will continue to find support and solace in their work. My re-introduction to Pierre Teillhard de Chardin has been a gift to me these past few months. He might well smile at my simplistic appraisal of his work, but I’m happy to leave a study of his other scholarly work to others, while I immerse myself in his extraordinary imagery! No sharing of my favourite excerpts could do justice to the treat awaiting you when you re visit the writings of this amazing man!

 by Marion Reynolds SSL