Saturday, May 26, 2012


“We have been trained to feed men, not with Christ, the Bread of Life, but rather with apologetic arguments…All philosophy, all theology that is vitally aware of its place in the true order of things, aspires to enter the cloud around the mountaintop where man may hope to meet the Living God. All true learning should therefore be alive with the sense of its own limitations and with the instinct for a vital experience of reality which speculation alone cannot provide… Any knowledge that pretends to offer us a clear and precise concept of God is inferior to the obscure experience of Him in the union produced by infused love. If we attribute too much power to our clear ideas of God, we will end up by making ourselves a god in our own image out of those clear ideas. If we do not grant concepts any power to tell us the truth about God, we will cut off all possible contact between our minds and Him”…Thomas Merton, “The Ascent to Truth”

Way back in 1951, Thomas Merton wrote in one of his many books, “The Ascent to Truth”, that the only thing that could save the world from complete moral collapse was spiritual revolution and that Christianity, by its very nature, demanded such revolution. The only hindrance to the latter, according to him, was the need for its members to live what they profess to believe. Was he talking about life style, what we do or do not do, an “old-time holiness” legality wherein we are made “sanctified and separated” from the “world”? When he states that, in order to accomplish any semblance of success in such task, we must be “vitalized by the supernatural power of His grace”, it is obvious to me that the Trappist monk speaks of Christ “in” me. While we need definitions, words to help us attempt any sort of understanding in the matter, yet we must learn that He, alone, breathes life into them, indeed is the very fullness of what they mean to us. Jesus conquered death and the grave, taking up residence with us via the Holy Ghost; and what we, as well as the world, need to see is not our faith in terms of some denominational, doctrinal credo, but the reality of that fact. Is it a stumble down the path? Yes! Yet who doesn’t know that our humanity remains involved in the process? What works, in spite of that, is humility and honesty coupled with the affirmation of His presence as we go…..

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