Teilhard de Chardin and the Sacred Heart of Jesus


Today is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Largely due to the early influence of his Mother, the Sacred Heart was a special focus in the devotional life and eventual theological vision of Teilhard de Chardin. According to biographer Robert Speaight, young Pierre’s Mother, Berthe, hung an image in the Sacred Heart in the salon at their home. This “instilled in him a devotion to the Sacred Heart, which was to be the radiating center of his own ardent spirituality.” The Sacred Heart was the “foyer of divine love that his mother had dedicated [to] him at birth”. As Teilhard grew into adulthood and entered the Jesuits, the Sacred Heart was the central feature of devotion. According to Speaight:

“No form of Catholic piety is more repellent in its visual aspect than devotion to the Sacred Heart. Yet this was at the very center of Teilhard’s spiritual life . . . It was, for him, the fountain of energy and love. . . Everything must end where it had begun – in the foyer of the Sacred Heart, whose image greeted him in the salon every time he returned [home].”

Teilhard took this image of the Sacred Heart, and extended it to the entire cosmos, which Teilhard envisioned as the living, beating, evolutionary love of Christ:

“It is in the Sacred Heart that the conjunction of the Divine and the cosmic has taken place . . . There lies the power that, from the beginning, has attracted me and conquered me . . . All the later development of my interior life has been nothing other than the evolution of that seed.”

— The Heart of the Matter, p. 43

About William Ockham

I am a father of two with eclectic interests in theology, philosophy and sports. I chose the pseudonym William Ockham in honor of his contributions to philosophy, specifically Occam's Razor, and its contributions to modern scientific theory. My blog (www.teilhard.com) explores Ignatian Spirituality and the intersection of faith, science and reason through the life and writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (pictured above).
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2 Responses to Teilhard de Chardin and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

  1. Pingback: Renewing our Appreciation for the Sacred Heart - SpringfieldOP.org

  2. Pingback: Renewing our Appreciation for the Sacred Heart - Dominican Sisters of Springfield Illinois

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