Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Year With Thomas Merton - February 8

Sealed Together in Christ

Can one say that by love the soul receives the very "form" of God? In St. Bernard of Clairvaux's language, this form, this divine likeness, is the identity we were made for. Thus we can say, Caritas haec visio, haec similitudo est: "Charity is this vision and this likeness." By love we are at once made like to God, and (in mystical love, pure love) we already "see" Him (darkly), that is, we have experience of Him as He is in himself, and wisdom is the medium quo cognoscitur: "the medium by which He is known." The soul knows God in this effect, this love, in the same way (analogously) as it knows itself in the consciousness of its own existence and activity. I know God because I am aware of His life in me, and the Spirit bears witness to my conscience, crying out that God is my Father. Thus by loving we know God in God, and through God, for in love the Three Divine Persons are made known to us, sealing our souls, not with a static likeness, but with the impression of Their infinite Life. Our souls are sealed with the character of God as the air is full of sunshine. Glory to God in the highest, Who has sealed us with His holiness, sealed us all together, brothers and sisters in His Christ.

February 12, 1950, II.409

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