Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - December 6

This Precious Poverty

I think more and more in terms of self-emptying and self-forgetfulness--but not in order merely to drown in a communal superstition and hopelessness. To renounce myself to serve truth and patiently to minister to individuals who, one by one, come needing help. To see their need, and try to minister to it, and not worry about results, or rewards. Ecce!--Behold!

Evening: rain, silence, joy.

I am certain that where the Lord sees the small point of poverty and extenuation and helplessness to which the monk is reduced, the solitary and the man of tears, then He must come down and be born there in this anguish, and make it constantly a point of infinite joy, a seed of peace in the world. And this is, and always has been, my mission. There is for me no truth and no sense in anything that conceals from me this precious poverty, this seed of tears and joy. I have a right to speak to others in so far as I speak to the same truth in them, and assuage their doubts, and make them strong in this small point of exhaustion in which the Lord becomes their wisdom and their life everlasting. What do the Psalms say but this?

"Be firm, you will see the help of the Lord upon you!"

How deep is this truth, how tremendously important!

December 25, 1962, IV.280-81

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