Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ
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.
Critical and liberating dialogue, which presupposes action,
must be carried on with the oppressed
at whatever the stage of their struggle for liberation.
The content of that dialogue can and should
vary in accordance with historical conditions and the level
at which the oppressed perceive reality.
But to substitute monologue, slogans, and communiques
for dialogue is to attempt to liberate the oppressed
with the instruments of domestication.
Attempting to liberate the oppressed
without their reflective participation
in the act of liberation is to treat them as objects
which must be saved from a burning building;
it is to lead them into the populist pitfall
and transform them into masses which can be manipulated.
At all stages of their liberation,
the oppressed must see themselves as women and men engaged in the
ontological and historical vocation of becoming more fully human.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Precisely Who You Are
Humility consists in being precisely
the person you actually are before God.
Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
In the long way that we take, in our growing up,
in the vicissitudes of life by which
we are led into its meaning and its mystery,
there are established for us, for each one of us,
They represent discoveries sometimes symbolizing the moment
when we became aware of the purpose of our lives;
they may establish for us our membership in the human family;
they may be certain words that were spoken
into a stillness within us
the sound thereof singing forever
through all the corridors of our being as landmarks;
yes, each one of us has our own.
No communication between people is possible
if there is not some mutual recognition of the landmarks.
The Inward Journey
Rainer Maria Rilke
The leaves fall, fall as if from far away,
like withered things from gardens deep in sky;
they fall with gestures of renunciation.
And through the night the heavy earth falls too,
down from the stars, into the loneliness.
And we all fall. This hand must fall.
Look everywhere: it is the lot of all.
Yet there is one who holds us as we fall
eternally in his hands' tenderness.
Rilke: Selected Poems, translated by C.F. MacIntyre