Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Decade: Bearing up, Pressing on

Driving back from lunch with friends on new year’s eve, I can hardly believe ten years have now passed since the Millennium.

The bells rang it in at Sandhurst, accompanied by a bottle or two and various crashing whizz-bangs, the most amazing of them from old Army stocks in the various MOD establishments around Surrey Heath. Little did we know what lay ahead!

As the world spins on into an uncertain future, we need a little faith. Creation may be essentially good, but it is surely not complete. The Incarnation has happened in Christ, but the work of incarnation continues in us. As the world pulses forwards through the end of another decade and into a new year of grace, all human activity at every level, the lot, can be seen as in some way necessary to complete the work of God in Christ.

This thought brought to mind a rather telling couple of paragraphs by Teilhard de Chardin. He believed everything was somehow brewing together towards an “Omega point” at which all things would be gathered together in Christthe goal of evolution, the final victory of Love in and through the universe.
He radically extends the logic of Philippians 1:29 throughout the Universe...

Closer and closer, stage by stage, everything increasingly links itself to the ultimate Centre, in whom everything holds together. The streams flowing out from this Centre do not only operate in the sublime heights of this world, where human activities take distinctly supernatural and worthy form. In order to redeem and pull together these sublime powers, the power of the incarnate Word irradiates the least eergies, to the most hidden depth. And the work of Incarnation will not be finished until the special matter locked up in every created thing, spiritualised originally in our souls, then again a second time with our souls in Jesus, has actually been reconnected to its definitive Centre of fulfillment. “Who is it who ascended, but he who first descended, in order to fulfill all things.” (Ephesians 4:10)

By our collaboration, which Christ stimulates, he is consummated and attains his fulness, starting from within all created things. That’s what St Paul himself tells us. We might think perhaps that the work of creation was completed long ago. Wrong! It continues ever more beautifully, and extends itself to the most sublime levels of the world. “All Creation, still groans and travails.” (Romans 8:22) And it is to complete this process that we labour, by even the most basic works of our hands. Such, ultimately, is the meaning and value of the things we do. Thanks to the interrelationship of matter, the soul and Christ, in the things that we do we bring back to God a small part of the being He loves. By each of the things we do, we labour — one by one but genuinely — to make up the fulness of everything, in other words to bring to Christ a small additional measure of fulfillment.

C’est à dire (original):
De proche en proche, de relais en relais, tout finit par se raccorder au Centre suprême “in quo omnia constant.” Les effleuves émanés de ce Centre n’agissent pas seulement dans les zones supérieures du monde, là où s’excercent les activités humaines sous une forme distinctement surnaturelle et méritoire. Pour sauver et constituer ces énergies sublimes, la puissance du Verbe incarné s’irradie jusq’au fond le plus obscur des puissances inférieures. Et l’Incarnation ne sera achevée que lorsque la part de substance élue que renferme tout objet, — spiritualisée une première fois dans nos âmes, et une seconde fois avec nos âmes en Jésus, — aura rejoint le Centre définitif de sa complétion. “Quid est quod ascendit, nisi quod prius descendit, ut repleret omnia.”

Par notre collaboration qu’il suscite, le Christ se consomme, atteint sa plénitude, à partir de toute créature.. C’est Saint Paul qui nous le dit. Nous nous imaginons puet-être que la Création est depuis longtemps finie. Erreur, elle se poursuit de plus belle, et dans les zones les plus élevées du Monde. “Omnis creatura adhuc ingemescit et parturit.” Et c’est à l’achever que nous servons, même par le travail le plus humble de nos mains. Tels sont, en définitive, le sense et le prix de nos actes. En vertu de l’interliaison Matière-Ame-Christ, quoi que nous fassons, nous ramenons à Dieu une parcelle de l’être qu’il désire. Par chacune de nos oevres, nous travaillons, atomiquement mais réelement, à construire le Plérôme, c’est-à-dire à apporter au Christ un peu d’achèvement.
Le Milieu Divin, 1957, I.iii.c, p 41-2
I haven’t got an English text. Corrections to the transation are very welcome!
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