Trust in the Slow Work of God

Image by Hengki Koentjoro. Man alone in boat

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.”


About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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3 Responses to Trust in the Slow Work of God

  1. Pingback: Trust in the Slow Work of God - Mystery and Meaning

  2. God really does seem to take a very long time with some key growth processes in our lives! I guess once we are in heaven, it will all seem like it was just a blink on an eye, but meanwhile it sure doesn’t! I am so grateful for grace upon grace that He provides when we lean in for His strength, waiting on Him in the “in between” times.

    Liked by 1 person

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