Saturday, December 20, 2014

Teilhard de Chardin on "the difficulties . . . in 'living in the world as though not being of the world'"

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 may take a very long time.  Thus, we have been through a whole year’s suspense, not knowing what the future holds for civilization.  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 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 surely through the obscurity and the ‘becoming’, and accept, for love of him, the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.

     Pierre de Teilhard de Chardin to his cousin Marguerite Teillard-Chambon (aka Claude Aragonnès, 1880-1959), [Zuydcoote], 4 July 1915, in The making of a mind:  letters from a soldier-priest 1914-1919, trans. from Genèse d’une pensée:  lettres 1914-1919 (Paris, B. Grasset [1961]) by René Hague (New York:  Harper & Row, Publishers, 1961), 57-58.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Speaking truth to [me]

"As I've said many times before, we have serious obligations as believers to care for the poor, the immigrant, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.  Those duties belong personally to you and me, not just the governmentthough the government clearly has a role.  If we ignore the poor, we will go to hell.  If we blind ourselves to their suffering, we will go to hell.  If we do nothing to ease their burdens, then we will go to hell.  Ignoring the needs of the poor among us is the surest way to dig a chasm of heartlessness between ourselves and God and between ourselves and our neighbors."

     Charles J. Chaput, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, in "Strangers in a strange land," First things no. 249 (January 2015):  30 (25-31).  And by the way, "lest we forget:  The poor include the unborn child."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The human soul considered qua soul is to be distinguished from the human soul qua form of a (particular) body

"the soul seeks so to enjoy God that that enjoyment redounds to the body to the degree this is possible.  Therefore as long as it enjoys God without its body, its desire is quieted by what it has, which, however, it still wants its body to have by participation in it."

"Appetit . . . anima sic frui Deo, quod etiam ipsa fruitio derivetur ad corpus per redundantiam, sicut est possibile. Et ideo quandiu ipsa fruitur Deo sine corpore, appetitus eius sic quiescit in eo quod habet, quod tamen adhuc ad participationem eius vellet suum corpus pertingere."

     Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae 4, on whether the body is required for the perfect happiness of the beatific vision, as trans. Ralph McInerny.  Unconfirmed Latin from Corpus Thomisticum.