Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - August 6

The Blessing of an Ordinary Work

The blessing of Prime under the tall pines, in the cool of early morning, behind the hermitage. The blessing of sawing wood, cutting grass, cleaning house, washing dishes. The blessing of a quiet, alert concentrated, fully “present” meditation. The blessing of God’s presence and guidance. I am very aware of the meaning of God’s presence and guidance. I am very aware of the meaning of faith and fidelity, and of the implications of the relationship they establish. This place is marked with the blessed sign of my covenant with Him Who has redeemed me. May I never fail this goodness, this mercy!

A superb passage from Irenaeus (Adversus haereses, 4.39):

“If you are the work of God, wait patiently for the hand of your artist who makes all things at an opportune time….Give to Him a pure and supple heart and watch over the form which the artist shapes in you…lest, in hardness, you lose the traces of his fingers. By guarding this conformity, you will ascend to perfection….To do this is proper to the kindness of God; to have it done is becoming to human nature. If, therefore, you hand over to Him what is yours, namely, faith in Him and submission, you will see his skill and be a perfect work of God.”

August 25 and 26, 1965, V.284-85

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