Monday, December 10, 2012

Merton: work known only to God

Monday, December 10, 2012
    Commemoration of Thomas Merton, Monk, Spiritual Writer, 1968
    May [the Lord] strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
    —1 Thessalonians 3:13 (NIV)
    Too often, people who take the spiritual life seriously may waste all their efforts on the scaffolding, making it more and more solid, permanent and secure, and paying no attention to the building itself. They do so out of a kind of unconscious fear of the real responsibilities of the Christian life, which are solitary and interior. These are difficult to express, even obliquely. They are almost impossible to communicate to anyone else. Hence one can never be “sure” whether he is right or wrong. One has very little evidence of progress or perfection in this interior sphere—while in the exterior, progress can be more easily measured and results can be seen. They can also be shown to others for their approval and admiration. The most important, the most real, and lasting work of the Christian is accomplished in the depths of his own soul. It cannot be seen by anyone, even by himself. It is known only to God.
    ... Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Life and Holiness, Herder and Herder, 1963, p. 68 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, from the depths I look to You in hope.
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