Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Word from Father Merton

I've developed some new friends these past months along the way of my journey and one of those is Father Thomas Merton. I can read him for pages, not totally sure whether I get him and then all of a sudden, zing!, He's spoken directly to my soul. This morning, as I sat out on my sun-drenched deck, soaking in the scriptures, journaling, praying, reading and just being I was reminded again of my tendency to be a doer, to find much of myself in what I can produce. And Father Merton articulates so well what happens when the doing overtakes me. So, I will let him speak his words...I could not put them into my own in any more eloquent a way than he already has.

"...many contemplatives never become great saints, never enter into close friendship with God, never find a deep participation in His immense joys, because they cling to the miserable little consolations that are given to beginners in the contemplative way.

How many there are who are in a worse state still: they never even get as far as contemplation because they are attached to activities and enterprises that seem to be important. Blinded by their desire for ceaseless motion, for a constant sense of achievement, famished with a crude hunger for results, for visible and tangible success, they work themselves into a state in which they cannot believe that they are pleasing God unless they are busy with a dozen jobs at the same time. Sometimes they fill the air with lamentations and complain that they no longer have any time for prayer, but they have become such experts in deceiving themselves that they do not realize how insincere their lamentations are. They not only allow themselves to be involved in more and more work, they actually go looking for new jobs. And the busier they become the more mistakes they make. Accidents and errors pile up around them. They will not be warned. They get further and further away from reality- and then perhaps God allows their mistakes to catch up with them. Then they wake up and discover that their carelessness has involved them in some gross and obvious sin against justice, for instance, or against the obligations of their state. So, having no interior strength left, they fall apart." Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contempation

I'm listening Father, I'm listening. May it not be so with me.

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