Pilgrim Progress

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Here I am, another Sunday, another sacred space of faith and spiritual journey, more memories and reflections. There are times I don’t want to understand the course of our actions that affect other people similar to a “butterfly effect.” Still, … Continue reading

Waiting in silence

"In the Dark" ~ Thanksgiving 2014

“In the Dark” ~ Thanksgiving 2014

The true contemplative is
not one who prepares his mind
for a particular message that he
wants or expects to hear,
but is one who remains empty
because he knows that he can never
expect to anticipate the words
that will transform his
darkness into light.
He does not demand
light instead of darkness.
He waits on the Word of God
in silence,
and when he is “answered,”
it is not so much by a word
that burst into his silence.
It is by his silence itself,
suddenly, inexplicably
revealing itself to him as
a word of great power,
full of the voice of God.
Thomas Merton from Dialogues with Silence
Source: Parabola Fall 2004 page 71

Waking from a dream.

thomas merton

In March in 1958, the famous Christian monk Thomas Merton suddenly awakened. He recorded it this way in his journal:

“Yesterday, in Louisville, at the corner of 4th and Walnut, suddenly realized that I loved all the people and that none of them were, or, could be totally alien to me. As if waking from a dream—the dream of my separateness, of the ‘special’ vocation to be different….Thank God! Thank God! I am only another member of the human race, like all the rest of them. I have the immense joy of being a man!….”

Imagine having a transcendental experience that all you feel is love, that all people are “beautiful” and that everything is light. The feeling of euphoria stays for the longest time. It feels good and it feels unreal at the same time. You wanted your old self again and yet how do you do it when you don’t even know how you came to this state of mind.  No, there is no hallucination. No, there is no mental illness.  It was more of a spiritual emergence.

To come back to your previous disposition before is a blessing. Thank God, indeed.

In The Quiet

Quiet of our beingIt is useless to try to make peace with ourselves by being pleased with everything we have done. In order to settle down in the quiet of our own being we must learn to be detached from the results of our own activity. We must withdraw ourselves, to some extent, from the effects that are beyond our control and be content with the good will and the work that are the quiet expression of our inner life. We must be content to live without watching ourselves live, to work without expecting any immediate reward, to love without an instantaneous satisfaction, and to exist without any special recognition….

To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times.

~ Thomas Merton

How kind time is.

thomas merton
At Thomas Merton’s Grave

BY SPENCER REECE

We can never be with loss too long.
Behind the warped door that sticks,
the wood thrush calls to the monks,
pausing upon the stone crucifix,
singing: “I am marvelous alone!”
Thrash, thrash goes the hayfield:
rows of marrow and bone undone.
The horizon’s flashing fastens tight,
sealing the blue hills with vermilion.
Moss dyes a squirrel’s skull green.
The cemetery expands its borders—
little milky crosses grow like teeth.
How kind time is, altering space
so nothing stays wrong; and light,
more new light, always arrives.


Image from PBS