Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - August 18

The Blessing of Scripture on My Vocation

Merely to set down some of the communicable meanings that can be found in a passage of Scripture is not to exhaust the true meaning or value of that passage. Every word that comes from the mouth of God is nourishment that feeds the soul with eternal life. “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Everywhere in Scripture there are doors and windows opened into the same eternity—and the most powerful communication of Scripture is the insitum verbum—the engrafted word—the secret, inexpressible seed of contemplation planted in the depths of our soul and awakening it with immediate and inexpressible contact with the Living Word, that we may adore Him in Spirit and in Truth. By the reading of Scripture I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed that all nature seems renewed round me and with me. The sky seems more pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green, light is sharper on the outline of the forest, and the hills and whole world are charged with the glory of God, and I feel fire and music in the earth under my feet.

The blessings of my Cistercian vocation are poured out on me in Scripture and I live again in the lineage of Saint Bernard, and I see that, had I been deeper in Scripture, all temptations to run to some other Order would have lost their meaning, for contemplation is found in faith, not in geography; you dig for it in Scripture but cannot find it by crossing the seas.

August 8, 1949, II. 349-50

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