What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery and without it all the rest are not only useless but disastrous.
Thomas Merton: The Wisdom of the Desert (Found at inward/outward)
“The things of Time are in connivance with eternity. The shadows serve You. The beasts sing to You before they pass away. The solid hills shall vanish like a worn out garment. All things change and die and disappear. Questions arrive, assume their actuality, and disappear. In this hour I shall cease to ask them and silence shall be my answer. The world that Your love created, that the heat has distorted, that my mind is always misinterpreting, shall cease to interfere with our voices.” (Thomas Merton)
I like the transitions in Merton’s piece… the sense of movement. Everything has its moment and then it passes. The things which dominate today will soon pass; they will be yesterday’s news. We humans tend to forget that everything is transitory as we get fixated on things or issues or interpretations.
But one day (but probably not today despite predictions in some quarters) all the noise and confusion… all the sound and fury of this earthly life will pass away. Nothing will block our dialogue with God when time passes into eternity.
Photo is ‘bench’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr
In the absence of me having anything original to say for myself, here are a couple of excellent quotes:
What we in the church must be about, I am convinced, is a return to religion of passion—a way of being in which anything less than spilling over with the Spirit of God is not enough; spilling over with desire to know and do the will of God in our daily work and play. (Source: Carter Heyward- Our Passion for Justice)
Sadly in today’s world being passionate about religious faith is regarded with deep suspicion, as if it was somehow akin to extremism.
But passion is so important; it is much more than just deep emotion. Passion is practical. It is about attitude. It is about the outpouring (or over spilling) of our experience of God into every part of our living, making everything is vital and vibrant.
With passion the ordinary becomes extraordinary – this is the journey of discipleship.
Happiness consists in finding out precisely what the ‘one thing necessary’ may be, in our lives, and in gladly relinquishing all the rest. For then, by a divine paradox, we find that everything else is given us together with the one thing we needed. (Source: Thomas Merton- No Man is an Island)
This passion for God (our discipleship) is ‘the one thing necessary’ … everything else pales into insignificance before the desire to know him and to serve him… and in the reality of journeying with him.
Photo: ‘dance in the flame of life’ by Mike Lockie on Flickr.
Back to blogging as I am… I was reminded of this quotation:
“Please pray for me to Our Lord that, instead of merely writing something, I may be something, and indeed that I may so fully be what I ought to be that there may be no further necessity for me to write, since the mere fact of being what I ought to be would be more eloquent than many books.”
(Thomas Merton, ‘Letter to Etienne Gilson’)
Mmmm quite profound really! If we were the people God wants us to be then there would be no need to write (or blog) (or preach) anything as our very being would speak volumes.
On reflection I suspect I will have to carry on writing… blogging… preaching !