I came across by this great article by Arnold Van Vugt in the Sun Star of the Philippines reflecting on Pentecost and discussing the need for Christianity to regain its sense of mysticism and wonder, including great quotes by Teilhard de Chardin and Karl Rahner. You can read the entire article here but set forth below is an extended summary:
“Pierre Teilhard de Chardin S.J. (1881-1955), a French theologian and scientist is one person who demolished these myths about the world. . . According to him, the whole of creation has evolved itself from the beginning. But in the beginning there was God, the Creator of the world. According to Chardin, the Spirit of God is at work in creation ever since creation came about, and this will go on until the end of time, which is the big Omega. Chardin said: ‘The day will come when, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered the fire.’ This is the fire that came down upon the Apostles at the feast of Pentecost. And this fire will go on until the end of time.
Some years ago another theologian, the German Karl Rahner, dared to affirm that the main and most urgent problem in the Church today is her ‘spiritual mediocrity.’ Rahner said: ‘The true problem of the Church is to keep throwing herself with a resignation and an even greater indifference along the paths of a spiritual mediocrity.’ The problem is the indifference of the Church and this problem has got worse in these last decades, according to Karl Rahner. The Church has done little to reform its institutions and laws; it just preserved its liturgy and kept watch over the orthodoxy.
We must be aware of the presence of God’s Spirit in the world as well as in the Church and we must see to it that the fire will keep on burning. To welcome God’s Spirit means allowing ourselves to speak alone with God, whom we almost always put far off and outside of ourselves.
We must learn to listen to God in the silence of our heart. The interior experience of God’s presence in us is something real and concrete. It transforms our faith. You wonder at how you could live without discovering this before. Now you know why it is possible to believe, even in a secularized culture.
Now you know an inner joy that is new and different. It seems to me very difficult to maintain faith in God for very long in the midst of agitation and emptiness of modern life, without knowing, albeit in a humble and simple way, some interior experience of the Mystery of God.
In the Church there is much talk about God, but when and where do we believers listen to the silent presence of God in the deepest depths of our heart? Where and when do we welcome the Spirit of the Resurrected One in our inner self? When do we live in communion with the Mystery of God from within?
It is sad to observe that not even in Christian communities do we know how to care for and promote the interior life. Many don’t know what is in the silence of their heart, they haven’t been taught to live faith from within.
Deprived of an inner experience, we hang on for dear life, forgetting about our soul; listening to words with our ears and pronouncing prayers with our lips, while our heart is nowhere to be found. Modern society has signaled for the ‘exterior’. We must go for the ‘interior’.