Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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The Divine Milieu
Pierre Teilhard deChardin

1 "The world with all its riches, life with its astounding achievements, man with the constant prodigy of his inventive powers, all are organically integrated in one single growth and one historical process, and all share the same upward progress towards an era of fulfilment." Pierre Leroy, S.J., foreword

2 "The day is not far distant when humanity will realise that biologically it is faced with a choice between suicide and adoration."

3 "Christ of glory, hidden power stirring in the heart of matter, glowing centre in which the unnumbered strands of the manifold are knit together; whose brow is of snow, whose eyes are of fire, whose feet are more dazzling than gold poured from the furnace; you whose hands hold captive the stars; you, the first and the last, the living, the dead, the re-born; you, who gather up in your superabundant oneness every delight, every taste, every energy, every phase of existence, to you my being cries out with a longing as vast as the universe: for you are indeed my Lord and my God." 'Mass Upon the Altar of the World'

4 "May the time come when people, having been awakened to a sense of the close bond linking all the movements of this owrld in the single, all-embracing work of the Incarnation, shall be unable to give themselves to any one of their tasks without illuminating it with the clear vision that their work – however elementary it may be – is received and put to good use by a Centre of the universe."

5 "Yes, the human layer of the earth is wholly and continuously under the organising influx of the incarnate Christ."

6 "Will not the work itself of our minds, of our hearts, and of our hands – that is to say, our achievements, what we bring into being, our opus – will not this in some sense be 'eternalised' and saved? Indeed, Lord, it will be – by virtue of a claim which you yourself have implanted at the very centre of my will! I desire and need that it should be."

7 "The enrichment and ferment of religious thought in our time has undoubtedly been caused by the revelation of the size and the unity of the world all around us and within us. All around us the physical sciences are endlessly extending the abysses of time and space, and cleaselessly discerning new relationships between the elements of the universe. Within us a whole world of affinities and interrelated sympathies, as old as the human soul, is being awakened by the stimulus of these great discoveries, and what has hitherto been dreamed rather than experienced is at last taking shape and consistency. Scholarly and discriminating among serious thinkers, simple or didactic among the half-educated, the aspirations towards a vaster and more organic One, and the premonitions of unknown forces and their application in new fields, are the same, and are emerging simultaneously on all sides. It is almost a commonplace today to find people who, quote naturally and unaffectedly, live in the explicit consciousness of being an atom or a cititzen of the universe."

8 "You must let the clear spring water of purity of intention flow into your work, as if it were its very substance. Cleanse your intention, and the least of your actions will be filled with God."

9 "All-embracing providence shows me at each moment, by the day's events, the next step to take and the next rung to climb."

10 "Throughout my life, by means of my life, the world has become almost completely luminous from within…Such has been my experience in contact with the earth – the diaphany of the Divine at the heart of the universe on fire….Christ; his heart; a fire: capable of penetrating everywhere and, gradually, spreading everywhere."

11 "The world undergoes a sort of vast 'ontogenesis' (a vast becoming what it is) in which the development of each soul, assisted by the perceptible realities on which it depends, is but a diminished harmonic. Beneath our efforts to put spiritual form into our own lives, the world slowly accumulates, starting with the whole of matter, that which will make of it the Heavenly Jerusalem or the New Earth."

12 "Look upon the world as maturing – not only in each individual or in each nation, but in the whole human race – a specific power of knowing and loving whose transfigured term is charity, but whose roots and elemental sap lie in the discovery and the love of everything that is true and beautiful in creation."

13 "We must try to penetrate our most secret self, and examine our being from all sides. Let us try, patiently, to perceive the ocean of forces to which we are subjected and in which our growth is, as it were, steeped. This is a salutary exercise."

14 "From the smallest individual detail to the vastest aggregations, our living universe (in common with our inorganic universe) has a structure, and this structure can owe its nature only to a phenomenon of growth."

15 "Humanity was sleeping – it is still sleeping – imprisoned in the narrow joys of its little closed loves. A tremendous spiritual power is slumbering in the depths of our multitude, which will manifest itself when we have learnt to break down the barriers of our egoisms and, by a fundamental recasting of our outlook, raise ourselves up to the habitual and practical vision of universal realities."

16 "I am not speaking metaphorically when I say that it is throughout the length and breadth and depth of the world in movement that man can attain the experience and vision of his God."

17 "By means of all created things, without exception, the divine assails us, penetrates us and moulds us."

18 "We find ourselves at every moment situated at the exact point at which the whole bundle of inward and outward forces of the world converge providentially upon us, that is to say at the one point where the divine milieu can, at a given moment, be made real for us."

19 "It is perfectly right to exalt the role of a good intention as the necessary start and foundation of all else; - it is the golden key which unlocks our inward personal world to God's presence."

20 "All created things, every one of them, cannot be looked at, in their nature and action, without the same reality being found in their innermost being – like sunlight in the fragments of a broken mirror – one beneath its multiplicity."

21 "What is most divine in God is that, in an absolute sense, we are nothing apart from him."

22 "God whom we try to apprehend by the groping of our lives – that self-same God is as pervasive and perceptible as the atmosphere in which we are bathed. He encompasses us on all sides, like the world itself….God truly waits for us in things, unless indeed He advances to meet us."

23 "The action by which God maintains us in the field of his presence is a unitive transformation."

24 "This is what I have learnt from my contact with the earth – the diaphany of the divine at the heart of a glowing universe, the divine radiating from the depths of matter a-flame."

25 "No object can influence us by its essence without our being touched by the radiance of the focus of the universe…..In the divine milieu all the elements of the universe touch each other by that which is most inward and ultimate in them."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite