I thought this article by Fr. Ron Rolheiser in the Scottish Catholic Observer was very good, and not only because of the Teilhard de Chardin reference :-). I encourage you to read the article here but set forth below is an excerpt:
“People are always impatient, but God is never in a hurry!” Nikos Kazantzakis wrote those words and they highlight an important truth: We need to be patient, infinitely patient, with God. We need to let things unfold in their proper time, God’s time.
Looking at religious history through the centuries, we cannot help but be struck by the fact that God seemingly takes his time in the face of our impatience. Our scriptures are often a record of frustrated desire, of non-fulfillment, and of human impatience. It’s more the exception when God intervenes directly and decisively to resolve a particular human tension. We are always longing for a messiah to take away our pain and to avenge oppression, but mostly those prayers seem to fall on deaf ears.
And so we see in scripture the constant, painful cry: Come, Lord, come! Save us! How much longer must we wait? When, Lord, when? Why not now? We are forever impatient, but God refuses to be hurried. Why? Why is God, seemingly, so slow to act? Is God callous to our suffering? Why is God so patient, so plodding in his plan, when we’re suffering so deeply? Why is God so excruciatingly slow to act in the face of human impatience?
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Pierre Teilhard de Chardin offers a second metaphor here when he speaks of something he calls “the raising of our psychic temperature.” In a chemistry laboratory it’s possible to place two elements in the same test tube and not get fusion. The elements remain separate, refusing to unite. It is only after they are heated to a higher temperature that they unite. We’re no different. Often it’s only when our psychic temperature is raised sufficiently that there’s fusion, that is, it’s only when unrequited longing has raised our psychic temperature sufficiently that we can move towards reconciliation and union. Simply put, sometimes we have to be brought to a high fever through frustration and pain before we are willing to let go of our selfishness and let ourselves be drawn into community.