“When the Signs of Age Begin to Mark My Body,” by Teilhard de Chardin

At worship on October 29, Tess Hartford read the following, from French priest Teilhard de Chardin:

When the signs of age begin to mark my body

(and still more when they touch my mind)

when the ill that is to diminish me or carry me 

 off strikes from without

or is born within me:

when the painful moment comes in which I 

 suddenly waken

to the fact that I am ill or growing old;

and above all at the last moment

when I feel that I am losing hold of myself

and am absolutely passive in the hands

of the great unknown forces that have formed me;

in all those dark moments, O God,

grant that I may understand that it is you

(provided only my faith is strong enough)

who are painfully parting the fibers of my being

in order to penetrate to the very marrow of my 


and bear me away within yourself.

   —Teilhard de Chardin

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