Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - August 4

Praising God: The Only Great Thing

It would be so easy and consoling to say, at every moment: “This thing I am doing is regarded by everyone as a sure means of attaining to perfection and to the possession of God.” But would the peace and consolation I felt have anything necessarily to do with perfection or the possession of God? Might it not turn out to be the greatest of all illusions? A surrender to the authority of common opinion—“They say.” How weak our consciences are! We give in and shut our eyes. We have conformed to the “them.” We are at peace. “They say” this is perfection.

Much more to the point: the prayer that struggles to get out of myself and reach God, in obscurity, in trial, fighting down the phantoms.

The great thing and the only thing is to adore and praise God.

To seek Him is to adore Him and to say that He alone is God and there is no other.

We must lay down our life for His Truth. We must bear witness to what is and the fidelity of God to His promises.

We must believe with our whole heart what God our Father has offered and promised us.

We must leave all things to answer His call to us, and to reply to His grace. When we have done this, we can talk of perfection, but when we have done this, we no longer need to talk of perfection.

August 28 and 29, 1956, III. 75-76

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