March 16, 2013

Prayer of Teilhard de Chardin

Posted by Scott at 03:59 PM

This afternoon I took the boys to St. Patricks so that the four of us could receive the sacrament of Confession. As part of my post-Confession penance, our pastor gave me the following prayer.

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 be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)

will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

   — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

Beautiful prayer, no? Like many Jesuits, this priest had his own controversies with his superiors on some of his ideas (read at Wikipedia), but the themes of this prayer weren't among them.

This reflection speaks to the sometimes excruciating experience of waiting on God. Do you find yourself often impatient, struggling to trust that God's ways are higher than your wishes?