“Voir ou périr” — See or perish

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, priest, palentologist, and prophet of evolutionary view of God and the uiverse, wrote,”Voir ou périr.”  See or perish.

As I read and write today without glasses for the first time in my life, this is striking.  After six eye procedures, beginning on Valentine’s Day, 2018, I finally can SEE without glasses for the first time since I can remember.

I started wearing glasses at age 5 after reporting to my mother, “Look at the bunny.”  It was actually a horse in a field across the way.  I learned to know that I was techinically “legally blind” since, unaided, I could not read a single letter on the eye chart.  When I lost my ability to read close up in my 50’s, my dependence on glasses became complete. Remember that woman you saw swimming with her glasses on? That would have been me.


I declared this year following the end of my career in pastoral ministry the year of “Morphing into Jubilación [the Spanish word for retirement].” Maybe SEEKING NEW VISION would have been more apropos.  

Here’s the story: To correct cataracts I had lens implants in February, designed to give me 20/20 vision.  The correction was not complete.  The lens capsules became cloudy and I in July I had two capsulotomies,the surgeon played painless red laser tag to zap away the cloudy cells. Painless. But still not 20/20. Then Friday I had Lasix surgery on both eyes for the last bit of correction. Now my right eye sees far and my left eye sees near. My brain is putting that together. Pretty well. I went to church “glasses free.”

So when I came to this line today in the Cosmic Campfire Bookclub read, I got it:

“In the end, it’s all about seeing,”

Cynthia Bourgeault, Episcopal priest and Wisdom School teacher, writes. (p. 107)

I feel pretty hip (oops, that’s old slang) having joined a “cosmic” bookclub of 350+ folks via Facebook. The newly released anthology of spiritual memoirs, “how I found GOD in everyone and everywhere” (Andrew M. Davis and Philip Clayton,eds.) is the text for the COSMIC CAMPFIRE BOOKCLUB. It takes the lens of spiritual journeys of eleven clergy, scholars, scientists, philiosphers, healers to invite us club members to take a new look at our own ways of seeing and being.

Here’s what Cynthia said about vision:

…you begin to see in a dynamic, intercirculating, interabiding, cosmotheandric way that preserves both particularity and unity…

…as we open our mystical eye-of-the-heart and see, what we see is a Christianity which has essentially been waiting in the wings for two millenia for the time to arrive when it can finally become consistent in its own hightest cosmotheandric calling: ‘As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us…I in them and you in me, that they may be comletely one.” (John 17:21-23) (pp 111-112)

I am thankful that editor, Andrew M. Davis, says it more simply in the introduction:

In sharing these journeys with readers, we hope to offer a vision of spiritual return and reenchantment. Relating one’s own personal journey to that of others can offer new insight, inspiritual and depth to one’s life and to one’s world…The best journeys, after all, are those that are shared. (xv)

Want to join the journey? Find the COSMIC CAMPFIRE BOOKCLUB here.

Eyes wide open — with brand new grandson, Oliver, just two days old.