Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Year With Thomas Merton - March 14

Love That Forgets It Was Born in Sorrow

My soul is trying to awaken and discover again the beauty of penance. I am ashamed of having made so many confessions of my faults in the monastery with so little sorrow and so feeble a hope of doing better. I want to say, over and over again, that I am sorry. I do not know how I can go on living unless I convince you, Jesus, that I am really sorry. The psalms say this better than I ever could. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to begin to discover the psalms. I am sorry that I have not lived them.

I am sorry for having let myself become so stupid and so torpid, thinking more of myself than of what I owe to your Love--and I owe You everything. Forgive me for paying so little attention. Without compunction and deep sorrow, contemplation is likely to be nothing more than a kind of idolatry. How can I love You if I do not know who I am and who You are? And how can I know this without sorrow? Jesus, I no longer want to have anything to do with love that forgets that it was born in sorrow, and therefore forgets to be grateful. Otherwise I will only go on lying to You, and I want to be done with insincerity forever and forever.

March 18, 1950, II.420


  1. "The sacrifice acceptable to God* is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."

    Psalm 51:17

    Now, if only I could get my heart around this and really mean it.

  2. So, my Russian friends: Introduce yourselves already! ;)