Yesterday I was in a wide-ranging conversation about elements of a future world that would not only include acceptable behavior of all citizens but also be compassionate toward all creatures and to the universe itself. It seemed that we have a long way to go toward consciousness if we are, in fact, to even approach the possibility of such a world. One element that we saw as necessary was the responsibility of each one of us to move the world toward that goal.
This morning I read a prayer written by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), the French Jesuit paleontologist whose writings integrate science and religion in a way that sees evolution as not only a reality but a responsibility of all of us. It seems he is ready to take the lead in accepting his role in this endeavor where compassion is the foundation of the effort. Although he sounds somewhat haughty about his position in such a process, it seems we would all do well to act from a position of the broadest vision in order to “kick start” our enthusiasm and assure at least some progress in our time. Here is what he said in his Prayer for Compassion:
Oh God, I wish from now on to be the first to become conscious of all that the world loves, pursues and suffers: I want to be the first to seek, to sympathize, and to suffer; the first to unfold and sacrifice myself, to become more widely human and more nobly of the earth than any of the world’s servants. (Hearts on Fire – Praying with the Jesuits, p. 107)