Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a French Jesuit priest and palaeontologist. He helped the Church to understand that its teachings were not incompatible with the theory of Evolution.
He was also participated in the discovery of Peking Man, the remains of an early human being found in China which may be as many as 780,000 years old.
His writings show a profound and even mystical understanding of the evolution of human history and the place of the Eucharist in creation.
Although the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith criticised some elements of his work, both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have commended the contribution he made to our understanding of the relationship between faith and science and the beauty of his theological ideas.
Among the many other profound acts of service that offered to God was his mobilisation as a stretcher bearer in the First World War.
He died on Easter Sunday 1955, yet his understanding of painstaking scientific research as adoration of God continues to inspire a new generation of thinkers.
1 May 1881: Born in Orcines, Puy-de-Dôme, France
1914: Mobilised as stretcher bearer in WWI.
1912: Discovery of Peking Man, near Beijing, China.
1930s and 1940s: Wrote a series of books including Phenomenon of Man
10 April 1955: Died in New York
1961: Condemned by Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith.
Spoken of approvingly by Popes Benedict XVI and Pope Francis in Laudato Si’.
Do not forget that the value and interest of life is not so much to do conspicuous things… as to do ordinary things with the perception of their enormous value”Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Matthew 6: New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised
25 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26
Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not of more value than they? 27
And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?28
And why do you worry about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31
Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” 32
For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33
But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Thought for the Day
Letting go of our worries and cares involves a change of perspective, so why not take a step back today and imagine how God sees your life?