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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, S.J., was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of Peking Man. The prayer is excerpted from Hearts on Fire.

 


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