Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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The Divine Milieu
Pierre Teilhard deChardin

1 "The more I examine myself, the more I discover this psychological truth: that no one lifts his little finger to do the smallest task unless moved, however obscurely, by the conviction that he is contributing infinitesimally (at least indirectly) to the building of something definite – that is to say, to your work, my God."

2 "Like a huge fire that is fed by what should normally extinguish it, or like a mighty torrent which is swelled by the very obstacles placed to stem it, so the tension engendered by the encounter between man and God dissolves, bears along and volatilises created things and makes them all, equally, serve the cause of union."

3 "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."

4 "We always find ourselves at the exact point where the whole sum of the forces of the universe meet together to work in us the effect which God desires."

5 "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."

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

7 "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."

8 "Grant, O God, that the light of your countenance may shine for me in the life of that 'other'….Grant that I may see you, even and above all, in the souls of my brothers, at their most personal, and most true, and most distant."

9 "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'

10 "To overcome every obstacle, to unite our beings without loss of individual personality, there is a single force which nothing can replace and nothing destroy, a force which urges us forwards and draws us upwards: this is the force of love."

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

12 "Our lives, and consequently the whole of our world, are full of God."

13 "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."

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

15 "The substantial ONE and the created MANY fuse without confusion in a WHOLE."

16 "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."

17 "Your essential duty and desire is to be united with God. But in order to be united, you must first of all Be – be yourself as completely as possible."

18 "God, in all that is most living and incarnate in him, is not far away from us, altogether apart from the world we see, touch, hear, smell and taste about us. Rather he awaits us every instant in our action, in the work of the moment. There is a sense in which he is at the tip of my pen, my spade, my brush, my needle – of my heart and of my thought. By pressing the stroke, the line, or the stitch, on which I am engaged, to its ultimate natural finish, I shall lay hold of that last end towards which my innermost will tends."

19 "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

20 "In each one of us, through matter, the whole history of the world is in part reflected. And however autonomous our soul, it in indebted to an inheritance worked upon from all sides – before ever it came into being – by the totality of the energies of the earth."

21 "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."

22 "Give me the strength to rise above the remaining illusions which tend to make me think of Your touch as circumscribed and momentary."

23 "By virtue of the Creation, and still more, of the Incarnation, NOTHING here below is profane for those who know how to see."

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

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