Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Meditating With Merton: By. C.C.
" Lord, I have not lived like contemplative. The first essential is missing. I only say I trust You. My actions prove that the one I trust is myself- and that I am still afraid of You. Take my life into Your hands, at last, and do whatever you want with it. I give myself to Your love and mean to keep on giving myself to Your love-rejecting neither the hard things nor the pleasant things You have arranged for me. It is enough for me that You have glory. Everything You have planned is good. It is love. The way You have laid open before me is an easy way, compared with the hard way of my own will which leads back to Egypt, and to bricks without straw. If You allow people to praise me, I shall worry even less, but be glad. If You send me work I shall embrace it with joy and it will be rest to me, because it is Your will. And if You send me rest, I will rest in You. Only save me from myself. Save me from my own, private, poisonous urge to change everything, to act without reason, to move for movement`s sake, to unsettle everything You have ordained. Let me rest in Your will and be silent. Then the light of Your joy will warm my life. Its fire will burn in my heart and shine for Your glory. This is what I live for. Amen." (Thomas Merton)
I have recently found great comfort in the words of reflection and prayer written by the late Cistercian Monk Thomas Merton. There is much often said about him as being "one too spiritually advanced", or one who "has had so much success living in contemplation that the ordinary faith-filled individual can not relate". These judgements and preconceived ignorant notions of Merton also intimidated me and I was hesitant to leap into the land of Merton.
However, after spending time on retreat at a Trappist Monastery I developed a profound admiration not only for the Cistercian order, but also for Thomas Merton. After reading I was amazed at the incredible insights, lessons, and shared spiritual challenges from one whom I have come to see as a fellow brother in Christ.
In Merton`s prayer the reader is able to see into the pure simpleness of a soul yearning to continually do God`s will. It is here that any intimidated idea of Merton is met with empathetical understanding, incredible humility, full surrender and likeness.
It may seem difficult as Christian laity to fully feel a sense of relation to Merton`s life and Monastic journey. It is through his writing above (and many others) where Merton mirrors each of us as he openly expresses his thoughts on full surrender and serving the Lord with the sheer simplicity of seeking Him and His will constantly. In Merton one can find great comfort and consolation. It becomes evident that each of us living a Christian life, regardless of individual vocation, has the same call-- that being to do everything with full surrender to the will of God with the utmost love and dedication. This commitment and deep devotion may often lead us to places that are uncomfortable...yet it is through this dryness that we may experience the greatness of our Lord.
Like Merton, we can acknowledge the times when we have fallen short or stumble upon our very selves as we seek to do God`s will. May we all strive to follow the way laid open by our Heavenly Father and may we also recognize with humility the times that we need to be saved from ourselves and "our poisonous urges to change everything" . Lord help us to continually seek Your will in all we do. Amen. (C.C.)
``Good is the Lord to the one who waits for him. To the soul who seeks him.``(Lamentations 3:25)