Thursday, December 22, 2011
A Year With Thomas Merton - December 22
The Unknown Power of the Cross
Yesterday, day of recollection, realized again above all my need for profound and total humility--especially in any work I may do for peace. Humility is more important than zeal. Descent into nothingness and dependence on God. Otherwise I am just fighting the world with its own weapons and there the world is unbeatable. Indeed it does not even have to fight back, for I will exhaust myself and that will be the end of my stupid efforts.
To seek strength in God, especially in the Passion of Christ.
The mysterious, unknown power of the Cross. Preachers of the Cross hide its power and distort its meaning by their own image of the Crucified.
The crucifixion is literally the destruction of the "Image" of God.
An "image" is presented and then taken away from man (and restored if man follows into the night). There is no adequate image. Preachers preserve an image, often a very faulty one. Meaning of the stress on the Resurrection here.
But to descend into the Night of the Passion, the Night of Christ's death, baptism in His sufferings, without image.
December 11, 1961, IV.184-85