Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - October 30

Prayer Is All I Have Left

If everything centers on my obligation to respond to God's call in solitude, this does not mean simply putting everything out of my mind and living as if only God and I existed. This is impossible anyway. It means rather learning from what contacts and conflicts I still have how deep a solitude is required of me. This means now the difficult realization that I have relied too much on the support and approval of others--and yet I do need others. I must now painfully rectify this. That is to say that there is a sense in which some of God's answers must come to me from others, even from those with whom I disagree, even from those who do not understand my way of life. Yet it would be disastrous to seek merely to placate these people--the mere willingness to do so would make me deaf to whatever real message they might have. To do this job rightly is beyond my power. Prayer is all I have left--and patient, humble (if possible) obedience to God's will. One thing is certain: I do not possess my answers ready at hand in myself. (It almost seems an axiom that a solitary should be one who has his own answers....) But I cannot simply seek them from others either. The problem is in learning to go for some, perhaps for long periods, with no answer!!

End of 1965, V.347-48

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