Teilhard de Chardin and the Cross as Symbol for Purification of Being

 

cross_fire

 

[O]n the panoramic screen of an evolutive world which we have just erected, the whole picture undergoes a most impressive change. When the Cross is projected upon such a universe, in which struggle against evil is the sine qua non of existence, it takes on new importance and beauty—such, moreover, as are just the most capable of appealing to us. Christ, it is true, is still he who bears the sins of the world; moral evil is in some mysterious way paid for by suffering. But, even more essentially, Christ is he who structurally in himself, and for all of us, overcomes the resistance to unification offered by the multiple, resistance to the rise of spirit inherent in matter. Christ is he who bears the burden, constructionally inevitable, of every sort of creation. He is the symbol and the sign-in-action of progress. The complete and definitive meaning of redemption is no longer only to expiate: it is to surmount and conquer. The full mystery of baptism is no longer to cleanse but (as the Greek Fathers fully realized) to plunge into the fire of the purifying battle ‘for being’—no longer the shadow, but the sweat and toil, of the Cross.

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (2002-11-18). Christianity and Evolution (Harvest Book, Hb 276) (Kindle Locations 1078-1086). 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 and the Cross as Symbol for Purification of Being

  1. claire46 says:

    You make me want to read this book, William. I’m reading Ilia Delio’s Emergent Christ and it follows very much the same approach.

    • Hi Claire:

      I enjoy Ilia Delio also and highly recommend her works. She has edited an interesting book that I have not yet read titled “From Teilhard to Omega” which includes essays from leading Teilhard scholars and evolutionary theologians such as Sr. Delio, John Haught, Kathleen Duffy, David Grumett, Ursula King and others. Hopefully I will have a chance to read it and do a book review yet this Spring. I just need more time :-).

      Peace,
      W. Ockham

  2. Lynda says:

    There is so much in each sentence that Teilhard has written that a mind like mine can scarcely comprehend after several readings; however, it is certainly worth the effort. “The complete and definitive meaning of redemption is no longer only to expiate: it is to surmount and conquer.” Amen!

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