Monday, February 20, 2012
A Year With Thomas Merton - February 19
Healing Our Flesh
Lent is a sunlit season.
Carnivale--farewell to the flesh. It is a poor joke to be merry about leaving the flesh, as if we were to return to it once again. What would be the good of Lent, if it were only temporary?
Jesus nevertheless died in order to return to His flesh; in order to raise His own body glorious from the dead, and in order to raise our bodies with Him. "Unless the grain of wheat, falling into the ground, dies, itself remains alone." So we cast off the flesh, not out of contempt, but in order to heal the flesh in the mercy of penance and restore it to the Spirit to which it belongs. And all creation waits in anguish for our victory and our bodies' glory.
God wills us to recover all the joys of His created world in the Spirit, by denying ourselves what is really no joy--what only ends in the flesh. "The flesh profits nothing."
February 17, 1953, III.33