Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - September 19

The Interminable Beauty of Human Beings

In the pile of things I have lying around waiting to be read, I picked out today the mimeographed conference by
Jacques Maritain (in December 1964) to the Little Brothers of Jesus on their vocation. Jacques emphasizes the microsignes--the microsigns--of a Christian love that acts without awareness and is received without special or detailed awareness--the human and unconscious "aura" of a contemplative love that is simply there. How does one dare to undertake this? This idea of presence in and to the world is fundamental: "There are no longer walls, but the demands of a constantly purified love for one's fellow being which protects and shelters their contemplation of love." The importance of a purely immanent activity (the contemplative does not do nothing). This can be a basis for an incomparably deep understanding of another's suffering. "The human being down here in the darkness of his fleshly state is as mysterious as the saints in heaven in the light of their glory. There are in him inexhaustible treasures, constellations without end of sweetness and beauty which ask to be recognized and which usually escape completely the futility of our regard. Love brings a remedy for that. One must vanquish this futility and undertake seriously to recognize the innumerable universes that one's fellow being carries within him. This is the business of contemplative love and the sweetness of its regard." September 20, 1966, VI.137-38

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