Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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The Divine Milieu
Pierre Teilhard deChardin

1 "Everything yields up the portion of positive energy contained within its nature so as to contribute to the richness of the divine milieu."

2 "Everything can be taken up again and recast in God, even one's faults."

3 "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."

4 "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."

5 "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."

6 "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."

7 "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."

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

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

10 "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."

11 "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."

12 "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."

13 "In each soul, God loves and partly saves the whole world which that soul sums up in an incommunicable and particular way."

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

15 "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."

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

17 "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."

18 "However vast the divine milieu may be, it is in reality a centre. It therefore has the properties of a centre, and above all the absolute and final power to unite (and consequently to complete) all beings within its breast."

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 "In the whole process which from first to last activates and directs the elements of the universe, everything forms a single whole. And we begin to see more distinctly the great sun of Christ the King, of Christ amictus mundo, of the universal Christ, rising over our interior world."

21 "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."

22 "Matter and spirit, as we know them in our universe, are not two separate substances, set side by side and differing in nature. They are two distinct aspects of one single cosmic stuff and there is between them no conflict to baffle our intelligence." Pierre Leroy, S.J., foreword

23 "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."

24 "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."

25 "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."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite