Teilhard de Chardin on The Cross as Symbol of Future Union of Humanity

cross

“[I]n spite of the profound readjustments that are being made in our phenomenal vision of the world, the Cross still stands; it rears itself up ever more erect at the common meeting place of all values and all problems, deep in the heart of mankind. It marks and must continue more than ever to mark the division between what rises and what falls back. But this is on one condition, and one only: that it expand itself to the dimensions of [today], and cease to present itself to us as primarily (or even exclusively) the sign of a victory over sin—and so finally attain its fullness, which is to become the dynamic and complete symbol of a universe in a state of personalizing evolution.”

* * * 

In view of the present confusion, it should be made plain that ‘to bear the weight of a world in evolution’ does not minimize the role of sacrifice, but adds to the pain of expiation the more constant and demanding pain of sharing, with full consciousness of man’s destiny, in the universal labor which is indispensable to its accomplishment. Seen in this light, there is even greater force in Christ’s summons: ‘If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me’ (Luke 9:23).”

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (2002-11-18). Christianity and Evolution (Harvest Book, Hb 276) (Kindle Locations 2914-2919, 2622-2625). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

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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4 Responses to Teilhard de Chardin on The Cross as Symbol of Future Union of Humanity

  1. Thank you William Ockham, for posting this quote by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin! It brought me such joy and it brought me to tears as well–a paradoxical mix of feelings, indeed! What struck me most is the first sentence of the second paragraph:
    “In view of the present confusion, it should be made plain that ‘to bear the weight of a world in evolution’ does not minimize the role of sacrifice, but adds to the pain of expiation the more constant and demanding pain of sharing, with full consciousness of man’s destiny, in the universal labor which is indispensable to its accomplishment.”
    Truly amazing, indeed!

    Was wondering whether de Chardin wrote his books in English and in French, and if so, where could one find the French resources? Thank you. Wish you and your family a blessed Holy Week, and a blessed Pascha this upcoming Sunday!

    • Thank you so much for the kind words. I loved the quote also! Teilhard de Chardin did most of his writings in French. I am not aware of any free resources for the original French (though they may exist) but many of his French writings are available for sale online.

      Hope you have a blessed week!

      Peace,
      W. Ockham

  2. Lynda says:

    Yes, we humans need to expand our vision of the Cross. As our thinking evolves the Cross will continue to have meaning for humankind as we recognize that the Cross continues to intersect with our lives. It was not a one time “event” but Christ’s sacrifice continues as we learn to participate in Christ’s sacrifice by denying ourselves and following Christ with our own cross. As with many things, our view of the Cross has been very narrow indeed. Thank you for sharing this as it is balm to my soul.

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