Jesuit mentioned in Royal Wedding sermon
Saturday 19th May, millions of people have watched the long-awaited Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby officiated at the service, while the Most Reverend Michael Curry, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, delivered a passionate sermon on the power of love. Before closing the address with a quote by Martin Luther King Jr, the Bishop referred to the writings of French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, mentioning the scholar's reflections on the similarities between fire and love.
Here is the exceprt from the sermon:
"The late French Jesuit, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, was at once a scientist, a Roman Catholic priest, a theologian, a true mystic. His was one of the great minds and spirits of the 20th century. He suggested that the discovery and harnessing of fire was one of the great scientific and technological discoveries of human history.
"Fire, to a great extent, made human civilization possible. Fire made it possible to cook food, thereby reducing the spread of disease. Fire made it possible to stay warm in cold climates, thereby marking human migration around the world a possibility. Fire made the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Industrial Revolution possible. The advances of science and technology are greatly dependent on the human capacity to take fire and use it for human good.
"Anybody get here in a car today? Nod your heads if you did. I know there were some carriages. If you drove here this morning, you did so in part because of harnessed fire. I know that the Bible says I believe that Jesus walked on water, but I have to tell you, I didn’t walk across the Atlantic Ocean to get here. Controlled fire in that plane got me here.
"Fire makes it possible for us to text, tweet, email, Instagram and Facebook and socially be dysfunctional with each other. Fire makes all of that possible. de Chardin said that fire is one of the greatest discoveries in all of human histories. He then went on to say that if humanity ever harnesses the energy of fire again, if humanity ever captures the energy of love, then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire.
"Love is the very fire and energy of real life! Dr. King was right: We must discover love. The redemptive power of love. When we do that, we will make of this old world a new world."
You can learn more about Pierre Teilhard de Chardin with our resources:
- Listen to the audio reflection by Pray As You Go:
- Read Chris Corbally SJ's article on Thinking Faith: Fr Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ