Blogs for May 2018

Contemplation: The Inner Life

Thomas Merton's book (one of many) on the contemplative life is not an easy read. There's a good reason why most of us are not on the same page as Merton and I think the reason is well described in a quotation from his book The Inner Experience - Notes On Contemplation.

He takes as his starting point a couple of verses from John Chapter 17: "The glory which Thou hast given to me I have given them; that they may be one as we also are one: I in them and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one (John 17v22-23). 

Merton says this: The seeds of this sublime life are planted in every Christian soul at Baptism. But the seeds must grow and develop before you reap the harvest. There are thousands of Christians walking about the face of the earth bearing in their bodies the infinite God of Whom they know practically nothing. They are themselves sons of God and are not aware of their identity............and later: The seeds of contemplation and sanctity, planted in those souls, merely lie dormant. They do not germinate. They do not grow. In other words, sanctifying grace occupies the substance of their souls, but never flows out to inflame and irrigate and take possession of their faculties, their intellect and will. The presence of God never becomes an initimate reality. God does not manifest Himself to these souls because they do not seek Him with any real desire. [End Quote]

I rather thought he might have continued in the same vein and brought in some thoughts from the Parable of the Sower where, you will recall, a number of seeds do not fare well. His comments on the "seeds of contemplation" for me throw new light on the true and fuller meaning to that parable. But I leave you with that staggering claim that he makes about us: There are thousands of Christians walking about the face of the earth bearing in their bodies the infinite God of Whom they know practically nothing. 3 May 2018 StanH.

 


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