For me, the Immaculate Conception is the feast of 'passive action,' the action that functions simply by the transmission through us of divine energy. Purity, in spite of outward appearances, is essentially an active virtue, because it concentrates God in us and on those who are subject to our influence.
It is a curious thing: man, the centre and creator of all science, is the only object which our science has not yet succeeded in including in a homogeneous representation of the universe. We know the history of his bones, but no ordered place has yet been found in nature for his reflective intelligence.
The Church is like a great tree whose roots must be energetically anchored in the earth while its leaves are serenely exposed to the bright sunlight. In this way, she sums up a whole gamut of beats in a single living and all-embracing act, each one of which corresponds to a particular degree or a possible form of spiritualisation.
Have you ever thought how humiliating and distressing it was to be placed upon a sphere? For friendship it is a boon never to be able to be further apart than the antipodes. But suppose that you are leaving together to go on and on; it is impossible. To go beyond a certain point is to return to where you began.
I give the name of cosmic sense to the more or less confused affinity that binds us psychologically to the All which envelops us. The existence of this feeling is indubitable, and apparently as old as the beginning of thought... The cosmic sense must have been born as soon as man found himself facing the forest, the sea and the stars.
If there is one thing I fear less than everything else, it is, I believe, persecution for my opinions. There are a good many points about which I may be diffident, but when it comes to questions of Truth and intellectual independence, there is no holding me - I can envisage no finer end than to sacrifice oneself for a conviction.
I have finally decided to write my book on the spiritual life. I mean to put down as simply as possible the sort of ascetical or mystical teaching that I have been living and preaching so long. I call it 'Le Milieu Divin,' but I am being careful to include nothing esoteric and the minimum of explicit philosophy.
We must accept what science tells us, that man was born from the earth. But, more logical than the scientists who lecture us, we must carry this lesson to its conclusion: that is to say, accept that man was born entirely from the world - not only his flesh and bones but his incredible power of thought.
The quantity and quality of consciousness, one may say, have always been growing throughout geological times. In this respect man, in whom nervous organisation and therefore psychological powers have attained an undisputed maximum, may be considered, scientifically, as a natural centre of evolution of the primates.
It seems to me that terrestrial beings, as they become more autonomous, psychologically richer, shut themselves up in a way against one another, and at the same time gradually become strangers to the cosmic environment and currents, impenetrable to one another, and incapable of exteriorizing themselves.
When all is said and done, what constitutes the impregnable superiority of Christianity over all other types of Faith is that it is ever more consciously identified with a Christogenesis: in other words, with an awareness of the rise of a certain universal Presence which is at once immortalizing and unifying.
The number of known human fossils only increases slowly. But the manner of regarding and assessing them is capable of progressing rapidly, as indeed it does. In the absence of any absolutely sensational discovery in prehistory, there is an up-to-date and scientific manner of understanding man, which is solidly based on palaeontology.
We spend our lives, all of us, waiting for the great day, the great battle, or the deed of power. But that external consummation is not given to many: nor is it necessary. So long as our being is tensed, directed with passion, towards that which is the spirit of all things, then that spirit will emerge from our own hidden, nameless effort.
Christ has conquered death, not only by suppressing its evil effects, but by reversing its sting. By virtue of Christ's rising again, nothing any longer kills inevitably, but everything is capable of becoming the blessed touch of the divine hands, the blessed influence of the will of God upon our lives.