This is a week in which I am blessed once again to be in the presence of Cynthia Bourgeault, revered spiritual teacher, and 35 of her students – new as well as seasoned, at a Wisdom event at Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham Massachusetts. We will study Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s work in addition to participating in centering prayer meditation, conscious work and monastic liturgy. The silence here is pervasive and calming on this, our first full day together.
Teilhard, a brilliant paleontologist and theologian, who was unacceptable to religious hierarchy in the early 20th century, speaks eloquently today to a world concerned with the workings of the entire cosmos and our movement toward the “omega point” when all will be one. I thought the following quote was a good one for this beginning day, as it starts with a consideration of those closest to us and moves to the whole human race (where his concern does not stop…but more of that later).
One by one, Lord, I see and I love all those whom you have given me to sustain and charm my life. One by one also I number all those who make up that other beloved family which has gradually surrounded me, its unity fashioned out of the most disparate elements, with affinities of the heart, of scientific research and of thought. And again one by one – more vaguely it is true, yet all inclusively – I call before me the whole vast anonymous army of living humanity; those who surround me and support me though I do not know them; those who come, and those who go; above all, those who in office, laboratory and factory, through their vision of truth or despite their error, truly believe in the progress of earthly reality and who today will take up again their impassioned pursuit of the light. (Hymn of the Universe)