This morning, pondering a meeting I attended yesterday of the Long-Range Planning Board of my religious community and a subsequent conversation with one of our “younger members” I was reminded of a valuable quote from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a theologian and paleontologist who had much to say about the universe and its workings, including those of humans who seem always in a hurry to get things done. It is always good for me to return to his wise advice. I share it today in hopes that we might draw from it some consolation in our troubled times.
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 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.