when we seek to define you, to describe you,
we learn that our language is limited.
But Love knows no limits.
With courage and forgiveness may we seek to love one another, to treat others
and ourselves with compassion and respect.
In moments of joy and sorrow,
in moments of pain and pleasure,
in moments of fear and hope,
in the ordinary moments of each day
may we know our place.
May we know ourselves;
not grand and all-powerful,
not small and meaningless,
but dignified and free,
each of us with our own power
in the spacious gift of your holding,
held in the grace of life itself. Amen
Several people have asked about this prayer. I wrote it at a time when I was reading about Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) a Jesuit priest, visionary and geologist. His mysticism and his studies of human evolution led him to see the earth as a network of divine wisdom and potential, not unlike James Lovelock’s Gaia theory: the earth as a unified living system. De Chardin rejected literal interpretations of the Bible and the notion of Original Sin. Although the Vatican banned some of his works, he is credited with influencing the liberal Catholicism of the 1960s. He saw human beings primarily as souls, as individual points in a spiritual matrix. He wrote, “We are not physical beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.”