Friday, November 4, 2011
A Year With Thomas Merton - November 4
Afraid of Mystery
This morning I was preparing for Mass in the woods, as usual. It was cold but the sun came up and melted the frost. It was quiet, except for the crows. I sat on an old chair under the skinny cedars, with my feet in the brown, frosty grass, and reflected on the errors of my monastic life. They are many and I am in the midst of them. I have never seen so many mistakes and illusions. It should be enough for me that God loves me. For His love is greater than anything else. It is the beginning and end of all. By it and for it all things were created. Yet, outside His love, I am tempted to erect a cold house of my own devising--a house that is small enough to contain my own self, and that is easier to understand than His incomprehensible love and His providence. Why is it we must be afraid of Mystery, as if the Mystery of God's love were not infinitely simple and infinitely clear? Why do we run away from Him into the dark, which, to us, is light? There is the other mystery of sin, which no one understands. Yet we act as if we understood sin and as if we were really aware of the love of God when we have never deeply experienced the meaning of either one.
November 7, 1952, III.23