Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Quotes of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”


“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”


“Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.”


“There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe.”


“Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.”


“Do not forget that the value and interest of life is not so much to do conspicuous things…as to do ordinary things with the perception of their enormous value.”


“In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.”


“We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.”


“Matter is spirit moving slowly enough to be seen.”


“It doesn’t matter if the water is cold or warm if you’re going to have to wade through it anyway.”


“The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.”


“You have told me, O God, to believe in hell. But you have forbidden me to think…of any man as damned”


“The most telling and profound way of describing the evolution of the universe would undoubtedly be to trace the evolution of love.”


“Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire.”


“By means of all created things, without exception, the divine assails us, penetrates us, and molds us. We imagined it as distant and inaccessible, when in fact we live steeped in its burning layers


“God is not remote from us. He is at the point of my pen, my (pick) shovel, my paint brush, my (sewing) needle – and my heart and thoughts.”


“By virtue of Creation, and still more the Incarnation, nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see.”


“The whole life lies in the verb seeing.”


“We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate one another.”


“The universe as we know it is a joint product of the observer and the observed.”


“Blessed be you, mighty matter, irresistible march of evolution, reality ever newborn; you who, by constantly shattering our mental categories, force us to go ever further and further in our pursuit of the truth.”
“He recognized with absolute certainty the empty fragility of even the noblest theorizings as compared with the definitive plenitude of the smallest fact grasped in its total, concrete reality.”
“So many things which once had distressed or revolted him — the speeches and pronouncements of the learned, their assertions and their prohibitions, their refusal to allow the universe to move — all seemed to him now merely ridiculous, non-existent, compared with the majestic reality, the flood of energy, which now revealed itself to him: omnipresent, unalterable in its truth, relentless in its development, untouchable in its serenity, maternal and unfailing in its protectiveness.”
“Without you, without your onslaughts, without your uprootings of us, we should remain all our lives inert, stagnant, puerile, ignorant both of ourselves and of God. You who batter us and then dress our wounds, you who resist us and yield to us, you who wreck and build, you who shackle and liberate, the sap of our souls, the hand of God, the flesh of Christ: it is you, matter, that I bless.” Hymn of the Universe

“The world, this palpable world, which we were wont to treat with the boredom and disrespect with which we habitually regard places with no sacred association for us, is in truth a holy place, and we did not know it. Venite, adoremus.”


“Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven’t committed.”


“If there were no internal propensity to unite, even at a prodigiously rudimentary level — indeed in the molecule itself — it would be physically impossible for love to appear higher up, with us, in hominized form. . . . Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being.”


“The universe as we know it is a joint product of the observer and the observed. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin”


“Remain true to yourself, but move ever upward toward greater consciousness and greater love! At the summit you will find yourselves united with all those who, from every direction, have made the same ascent. For everything that rises must converge.”


“Research is the highest form of adoration”


“In the end, only the truth will survive.”


“You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.”


“The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”  Toward The Future


“In the shadow of death may we not look back to the past, but seek in utter darkness the dawn of God.”


“The quintessential good and beauty in life is what each has to offer to others valuing the gesture ourselves into confluence with the Word of God.”


“It is the destiny of things real to destroy those that are artifice.”


“It seems to me that the Russian prestige is declining and that America holds in its hands the immediate future of the world: as long as America knows how to develop the sense of the earth at the same time as her sense of liberty.” [Written from Peking, October 1945, on the eve of departure, after having been stuck there since the war began.]” The Letters Of Teilhard de Chardin and Lucile Swan


“The day will come when,

after harnessing the winds, the tides and gravitation,
we shall harness for God the energies of love.
And on that day,
for the second time in the history of the world,
man will have discovered fire.”


“But this quantum only takes on its full significance when we try to define it with regard to a concrete natural movement — that is to say, in duration.”
“(Evolution) general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforward if they are to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a curve that all lines must follow.”
“I am not a human being enjoying a spiritual life, I am a spiritual being enjoying a human life.”
“In no case does the energy required for synthesis appear to be provided by an influx of fresh capital, but by expenditure.”
“The farther and more deeply we penetrate into matter, by means of increasingly powerful methods, the more we are confounded by the interdependence of its parts.”
“The time has come to realize that an interpretation of the universe—even a positivist one—remains unsatisfying unless it covers the interior as well as the exterior of things; mind as well as matter. The true physics is that which will, one day, achieve the inclusion of man in his wholeness in a coherent picture of the world.”

“We, mankind, contain the possibilities of the earth’s immense future, and can realize more and more of them on condition that we increase our knowledge and our love. That, it seems to me, is the distillation of The Phenomenon of Man.” The Phenomenon of Man


“The world is round so that friendship may encircle it.”


“Since once again, Lord – though this time not in the forests of the Aisne but in the steppes of Asia – I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the Real itself; I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and on it will offer you all the labours and sufferings of the world.

 Over there, on the horizon, the sun has just touched with light the outermost fringe of the eastern sky. Once again, beneath this moving sheet of fire, the living surface of the earth wakes and trembles, and once again begins its fearful travail. I will place on my paten, O God, the harvest to be won by this renewal of labour. Into my chalice I shall pour all the sap which is to be pressed out this day from the earth’s fruits.
My paten and my chalice are the depths of a soul laid widely open to all the forces which in a moment will rise up from every corner of the earth and converge upon the Spirit. Grant me the remembrance and the mystic presence of all those whom the light is now awakening to the new day . . .

Over every living thing which is to spring up, to grow, to flower, to ripen during this day say again the words: ‘This is my Body’. And over every death-force which waits in readiness to corrode, to wither, to cut down, speak again your commanding words which express the supreme mystery of faith: ‘This is my Blood’.”The Divine Milieu


“The most empowering relationships are those in which each partner lifts the other to a higher possession of their own being.”


“There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others that have a larger vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendships between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality almost impossible to describe.”


“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”


“For in the nature of things everything that is faith must rise, and everything that rises must converge.”


“There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision.”


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