Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Year With Thomas Merton - March 7

Love Makes Duty Beautiful

Yesterday, out in the beginning of a snowstorm, I dipped into the spiritual notes of Charles deFoucauld and was moved by their intensity. He speaks to God in a clear and vibrant voice, simple words, sentences of fire. This voice rings in the ear of your heart after you have put the book away and turned to other, less saintly voices, even though they may be religious voices, too. M. Lefèvre, who is teaching us chant, saw the book and told me how, some twenty-five years ago, it had made him weep and had driven him to the seminary. From which, he said, by the grace of God, he eventually emerged again into the world. I forget whether he has ten children or twelve.

God gives Himself to those who give themselves to Him. The way does not matter much, as long as it is the way He has chosen for us. I find that I can get just as close to God in studying the dry problems of moral theology as by reading the more burning pages of the mystics. For it is God's will that I, as a priest, should know my moral theology. Duty does not have to be dull. Love can make it beautiful and fill it with life. As long as we show lines of division between duty and pleasure in the world of the spirit, we will remain far from God and from His joy.

March 9 and 10, 1950, II.417

1 comment:

  1. Psalm 119.14:

    I delight in the way of your decrees
    as much as in all riches.