Trust in the slow work of God
by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ
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.
In this fast paced frenetic world, we ever need encouragement to slow down. But this prayer isn’t merely about slowing down – it is about trusting in the slow work of God, which will enable us to slow down and me mindful of God, His creation, and His ongoing creative impulse. And along the way, we will be able to “pass through all the stages of life” without the temptation to shortcuts or blunting forcefulness.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a French Jesuit priest, scientist, paleontologist, theologian, philosopher and teacher.
“Teilhard’s interest in the world of nature began when he was a child. As he grew up he studied geology and the natural sciences. After he entered the Jesuits, he was ready to give up these interests in order to devote himself to his spiritual vocation. But Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was dissuaded by his wise Jesuit spiritual director, who advised him that following his intellectual interests also gave glory to God. Through his theological studies and continued studies in the natural sciences, Teilhard sought to create intellectual space in which the physical and spiritual world could be appreciated for their unique contribution to human life.”