“…I want to give myself to You without solicitude, without fear or desire, not seeking words or silence, work or rest, light or darkness, company or solitude. For I know I will possess all things if I am empty of all things, and only You can at once empty me of all things and fill me with Yourself, the Life of all that lives and the Being in Whom everything exists.
And this will be my solitude, to be separated from myself so far as to be able to love You alone, and love You so much that I no longer realize I am loving anything…”
-Thomas Merton, Entering the Silence, The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume Two 1941-1952
note:this is part of the prayer of Thomas Merton to the Holy Spirit before his solemn, perpetual vows as a priest and Cistercian monk.
note: I’m alone in the mountains. Mrs. Abstract drove to St. George,UT, with our friend, Gloria, who will run 10K in the Senior Games on Monday.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
note: The day is sunny and a warm 65. The river is behind me. I’m walking home.
“What is the connection between Faith and Humility-for here they are linked very close, in so close a union they are actually identified? You can not believe because you seek glory from one another.”-Thomas Merton
note: Books I’m reading: Entering the Silence, The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume Two & The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard. And a new book: Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland.
I finished reading: The Archivist by Martha Cooley and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Both are enjoyable readings.
“But true emptiness is that which transcends all things and immanent in all…The character of emptiness, at least for a Christian contemplative, is pure love, pure freedom. Love that is free of everything, not determined by anything, or held down by any relationship…It is the sharing, through the Holy Spirit, in the infinite charity of God…This purity, freedom and indeterminateness of love is the very essence of Christianity.”
from: Contemplative Prayer, Thomas Merton