Easter Sunday, 1923. Teilhard de Chardin sat writing under a tree in an oasis of sorts in the Ordos Desert of Inner Mongolia.
As the sun came up Teilhard wrote,
“Over there on the horizon, the sun has just touched with light the outermost fringe of the eastern sky. Once again, beneath this moving sheet of fire, the living surface of the earth wakes and trembles.”
These are the opening words of his “Mass on the World,” a mystical essay he had reworked repeatedly since first drafting it during a lull in the fighting of World War I. On that Easter he would sign and date the final version that comes down to us.
“With neither bread, nor wine, nor altar,” he writes, “I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and on it will offer you all the labors and sufferings of the world.”
Having recited the words of consecration in his meditation, he exclaims,
“It is done! Once again Fire has penetrated the Earth.”
“No visible tremor marks this transformation; and yet, at the touch of your Word the immense host, which is the universe, is made flesh. Through your incarnation, my God, all matter is henceforth incarnate.”
With the understanding of Teilhard de Chardin, that in the resurrection of Christ all the universe is sacred, we wish you and yours a very Happy Easter!
Frank and Mary Frost
(You can view a public reading of “Mass on the World” on YouTube. Click here.)
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