Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - June 25

Christ’s Heart

Feast of the Sacred Heart, very cool and clear—in the early morning it was more like September than June. Father Lawrence, my undermaster when I was in the novitiate twenty-three years ago, returned from the monastery in Georgia for a while. I could not recognize him—he is much fatter (was very gaunt then). The Feast of the Sacred Heart is for me a day of grace and seriousness. Twenty years ago I was uncomfortable with this concept. Now I see the real meaning of it (quite apart from the externals). It is the center, the “heart” of the whole Christian mystery.

There is one more thing: I may be interested in Oriental religions, etc., but there can be no obscuring the essential difference—this personal communion with Christ at the center and heart of all reality, as a source of grace and life. “God is love” may perhaps be clarified if one says that “God is void” and if, in the void, one finds absolute indetermination and hence absolute freedom. (With freedom, the void becomes fullness and 0 = ∞.) All that is “interesting,” but none of it touches on the mystery of personality in God, and His personal love for me. Again, I am void too, and I have freedom, or am a kind of freedom, meaningless unless oriented to Him.

June 26, 1965, V.259

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