When fretting over the ills of modern society and the irreversible path of self-destruction that we’re on, I’m reminded of the importance of reading and reflecting on the writings of the mystics.  The mystic, after all, is not the solitary figure on the mountain top (Zarathustra has long sense reserved this place), but the one who has travelled to the slums, to the places of misery and oppression and somehow, mysteriously, discovers light.

And so, a quote from Teilhard de Chardin on the importance of renunciation for the sake of the world:

“The first form of renunciation which comes to mind is that of a cutting off, a rupture withe the world, an evacuation, pure and simple, of the old man.  St. John of the Cross, read literally, seems to conceive of the night in just this way.  Do you want to find God?  Close the channels which admit the false, exterior life.  When you have done so, “ipso facto” the higher light will shine deep within you.  The true light will appear as the other vanishes.   The noise from outside ceases and you will hear the other voice in your heart.  For there are two distinct lights illuminating you.   There are two different words echoing continuously within you.  To hear one properly, you must quell the other. – The new earth is a neo-formation (as zoologist say) which will follow the old earth, pushing it aside and taking its place.”

~ From de Lubac’s collection of letters to Maurice Blondel