[This Quote of the Week is inspired by the fact that I am rereading Flannery O’Connor]
“It is true that at the outset it presupposes a certain fundamental concept of the place of Man in Nature. But as it rises above this rationalized common platform it becomes charged with a thousand differing potentialities, elastic and even fluid—indivisible, one might say, by the expressions of hostility to which Thought, in its gropings, may temporarily subject it. Indivisible and even triumphant: for despite all seeming divisions (this is what matters) it continues unassailably to draw together and even to reconcile everything that it pervades.
Take the two extremes confronting us at this moment, the [Atheist] and the Christian, each a convinced believer in his own particular doctrine, but each, we must suppose, fundamentally inspired with an equal faith in Man. Is it not incontestable, a matter of everyday experience, that each of these, to the extent that he believes (and sees the other believe) in the future of the world, feels a basic human sympathy for the other—not for any sentimental reason, but arising out of the obscure recognition that both are going the same way, and that despite all ideological differences they will eventually, in some manner, come together on the same summit? No doubt each in his own fashion, following his separate path, believes that he has once and for all solved the riddle of the world’s future. But the divergence between them is in reality neither complete nor final, unless we suppose that by some inconceivable and even contradictory feat of exclusion (contradictory because nothing would remain of his faith) the [Atheist], for example, were to eliminate from his materialistic doctrine every upward surge toward the spirit. Followed to their conclusion the two paths must certainly end by coming together: for in the nature of things everything that is faith must rise, and everything that rises must converge.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. The Future of Man (Kindle Locations 2891-2904).