Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Trust in the Slow Work of God

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a French Jesuit priest, biologist, geologist, and philosopher who lived until 1955. At times, his ideas were at odds with the church.

This quote was shared by one of the faculty at a recent Academy for Spiritual Formation, and it touched me deeply. I spent some more time with it this morning in prayer and want to share it with you.

I believe that we rush God's slow, abiding work in us so often and therefore, we pass by or gloss over the deep work God wants to do in us. Healing takes time, and grace pours out abundantly like a meandering stream we must come back to time and again for refreshing water.

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.
Yet it is the law of all progress that is made
by passing through some stages of instability
and that 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.
Do not 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 you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new Spirit
gradually forming in 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.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God,
our loving vine-dresser.

Pictured is Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.