Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - August 30

Brother Mathias to the End

Brother Mathias received Extreme Unction--the sacrament of the sick and dying--after None, sitting in a brown chair at the head of the choir. He is dying of cancer. Again, the mystery of the present. Wasted and changed by illness, he is still Brother Mathias, in fact, more Brother Mathias than ever--his life is crowned by his patience and goodness in his suffering, so that this will be the definitive Brother Mathias--and I am sure he no longer knows anything about this and has lost sight of himself. He just suffers, and the days go by. How strange it would be to say he received the sacrament "with great faith." Which, of course, is true. How true to say he received it with the earnestness and depth of feeling which we know in him and which is his very self to us. He received it as Brother Mathias--as one loved by Christ, and chosen by him. This is the real heart of the mystery, so obvious and simple. The presence of Divine Mercy in the midst of us, in Christ.

August 25, 1958, III.215

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