Above All Trust in the Slow Work of God

This poem has been much in my mind lately. My life is changing… Or no, it’s that I am changing inside my life, so  much so that I wonder how the waters up on the surface can appear so placid. Much that seemed crucial now seems the opposite and vice versa.

Maybe change like this is happening in all of us all the time. I just know I haven’t felt so much internal tumult since those three times that a new life was slowly stitching itself together inside my body.

Patient Trust

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.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

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5 thoughts on “Above All Trust in the Slow Work of God

  1. I rather like this Fr.Pierre’s thinking. A rebel yet also a committed man to the ultimate Power.
    We must have that trust or we are open to crushing anxiety.

    1. crushing anxiety is a hallmark of our age I think Frank, anxiety that people try to overcome by ‘medicating’ themselves with media, shopping, addictive behaviors all of sorts…

  2. Terry, I remember reading in college de Chardin’s the Phenomenon of Man in which he posits that human evolution is ongoing, now more spiritual than physical. He called the process Christogenesis, if I recall his term correctly. We are evolving, becoming, more and more Christ-like.

    1. what a hopeful thought! I know of him only that he said history was the record of the inanimate evolving toward consciousness but this fills things in much more! May have to read him now!

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