Thank you to each and every one of you who participate with us in The Teilhard de Chadin Project. At a time of Thanksgiving, we recollect that the wonder of the world in its continuous becoming was a never-ending marvel for Teilhard, and a source of gratitude.
The spirit of that gratitude finds expression in his Mass on the World, which he had first drafted in 1915, but which he put in a new and fuller form in the summer of 1923. He and fellow Jesuit Emile Licent had arrived at Chara-Ousso-Gol (today Salawusu), which he described in a letter to his friend Abbé Breuil. “We camped at the bottom of a winding canyon carved out in the steppes to a depth of 250 feet by the Chara-Ousso-Gol, whose waters — liquid mud — gurgled beside us over a stony bed.”Pictured here, the vast yellow sands of the Ordos desert can be seen above the gorge of Salawusu today. Beholding this at sunrise Teilhard was inspired to write:
Since once again, Lord…I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar… I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and on it will offer you all the labors and sufferings of the world. 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, and once again begins its fearful travail. I will place on my paten, O God, the harvest to be won by this renewal of labor. Into my chalice I shall pour all the sap which is to be pressed out this day from the earth’s fruits. …
Once upon a time men took into your temple the first fruits of their harvests, the flower of their flocks. But the offering you really want, the offering you mysteriously need every day to appease your hunger, to slake your thirst is nothing less than the growth of the world borne ever onwards in the stream of universal becoming.
Our Thanksgiving wish for you is that you feel in your life that you are “borne ever onwards in the stream of universal becoming.”
Frank and Mary Frost