Saturday, December 10, 2011
A Year With Thomas Merton - December 10
Dying and Being Reborn in Christ
(Thomas Merton enters Gethsemani on December 10, 1941; he dies by accident while attending a monastic conference in Bangkok, Thailand, on December 10, 1968)
I come into solitude to die and love. I come here to be created by the Spirit in Christ.
I am called here to grow. "Death" is a critical point of growth, or transition to a new mode of being; to a maturity and fruitfulness that I do not know (they are in Christ and in His Kingdom). The child in the womb does not know what will come after birth. He must be born in order to live. I am here to learn to face death as my birth.
This solitude--a refuge under His wings, a place to hide myself in His Name, therefore, a sanctuary where the grace of Baptism remains a conscious, living, active reality valid not only for me but for the whole Church. Here, planted as a seed in the cosmos, I will be a Christ seed, and bring fruit for other men. Death and rising in Christ.
I need to be "confirmed" in my vocation by the Spirit (speaking through the Church, i.e., the abbot and the community). This ordains me to be the person I am and to have the particular place and function I have, to be myself in the sense of choosing to tend toward what God wants me to be, and to orient my whole life to being the person He loves. (We are all "loved in general," but we have to personally accept a special love of God for ourselves.)
December 1, 1965, V.333-34