Monday, January 9, 2012
A Year With Thomas Merton - January 9
Deepening the Present
I have entered the new and holy year with the feeling that I have somehow, secretly, been granted a new life and a new hope--or a return of the old life and hope I used to have.
The contemplative life becomes awfully thin and drab if you go for several days at a time without thinking explicitly of the Passion of Christ. I do not mean, necessarily, meditation, but at least attending with love and humility to Christ on the Cross. For His Cross is the source of all our life, and without it prayer dries up and everything goes dead.
A saint is not so much a man who realizes that he possesses virtues and sanctity as one who is overwhelmed by the sanctity of God. God is holiness. And therefore things are holy in proportion as they share Who He is. All creatures are holy in so far as they share in His being, but we are called to be holy in a far superior way--by somehow sharing His transcendance and rising above the level of everything that is not God.
Solitude is not found so much by looking outside the boundaries of your dwelling, as by staying within. Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for solitude in the present, you will never find it.
January 2-3, 1950, II.391-92