Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Celebrate with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Such a fascinating, multi-faceted man the editors bring to us today. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was born a devout Catholic and entered the Jesuits in 1899. He met two paleontologists and was so struck by this discipline that he chose to study it at the Sorbonne.
De Chardin was a prolific scientist and writer. Richard Foster notes his varied writing was of two sorts: scientific and spiritual treatises. De Chardin also brought the sacred into his scientific writing (which strikes me as a fascinating premise).
However, this excerpt is not scientific, but celebratory—and spiritual. De Chardin writes for a wedding, a sermon for the joining of a couple who have been raised a continent apart—in France and in Asia. He gives some background for both the groom and bride, in terms of both place and family.
“And it was then, Mademoiselle, in that very habitation of souls in which it seemed impossible that two beings should find one another, that you, like the princess in a fairy story, quite naturally appeared. That, among some thousands of human beings, the eyes of two individuals should meet is in itself a remarkable and precious coincidence what, then, can we say when it is two minds that meet?” 
Ah! Such remarkable writing! De Chardin is able to weave together a tapestry of words that seem so fair, so fine. He goes on to talk of the wonders, the glories of the universe, and describes all of these in such glowing language. Truly, sparkling words and phrases.
And, then—“If you want, if both of you want, to answer the summons (or respond to the grace, for that is the better word) which comes to you today from God-animated life, then take your stand confidently and unhesitatingly on tangible matter; take that as an indispensable bulwark—but, through and above that matter, put your faith in the bulwark of the intangible.”  And, finally, “At this very moment can you not feel this spirit, to which I am urging you, concentrating upon you; can you not feel its mantle spread over you?” 
Yes, my marriage was performed by a dear former pastor of mine. His word craft was good, certainly, but not one quarter as fine as de Chardin’s words! These words make me think of a good plain doughnut (my former pastor) versus an exquisite French pastry (de Chardin).
God’s blessings on all brides and grooms to be married in these next weeks. May they receive abundant blessings like those of de Chardin’s.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 322.
 Ibid, 323.
 Ibid, 324.