Daily Reading for May 28
Teilhard de Chardin outlines the dangers of a divided heart and mind if we do not love God and the world aright. He suggests that most Christians are in danger of becoming ‘distorted, disgusted, or divided’. We become distorted when we deny our taste for the tangible world and make ourselves purely religious objects. To do this we need to banish so much of the beauty and splendour that is about us. In denying our natural love for the world we distort the truth about ourselves and our God. The disgusted decide that the world is too wonderful to deny and they turn their backs on God, like the man who went away sorrowing because he had too many riches. They seek to live thoroughly human lives without recourse to any higher being. Yet they know in themselves that there is more to this world and in themselves than they are acknowledging. To deny all mystery and wonder is to diminish ourselves and our horizons. The third group is the most common and that is the divided. They give up any attempt of making sense of the situation; they never belong wholly to God or wholly to things. Such people often live by double standards and are seen as insincere.
We can all experience this division in ourselves at times. There are many times in our lives when we are not wholly there, when we are not giving our attention or ourselves. To travel in body but not in spirit is to be a tourist but not a pilgrim. Yet even a tourist needs to be there; Annie Dillard says, ‘Beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will sense them. The least we can do is try to be there’.
From The Road of Life: Reflections on Searching and Longing by David Adam. Copyright © 2004. Used by permission of Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. www.morehousepublishing.com