Thomas Merton: Waves

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He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

“We must respond to God’s gifts gladly and freely with thanksgiving, happiness and joy: but in contempla¬≠tion we thank Him less by words than by the serene happiness of silent acceptance. “Be empty and see that I am God.” It is our emptiness in the presence of the abyss of His reality, our silence in the presence of His infinitely rich silence, our joy in the bosom of the serene darkness in which His light holds us absorbed, it is all this that praises Him. It is this that causes love of God and wonder and adoration to swim up into us like tidal waves out of the depths of that peace, and break upon the shores of our consciousness in a vast, hushed surf of inarticulate praise, praise and glory!”

Thomas Merton in New Seeds of Contemplation (New York: New Directions, 1961) 231.

Often the focus of my daily posts is prophetic, that is calling us to alignment with God’s design and desire for us. God’s Word calls us to live radically countercultural lives and so there is some shock to the tone.

Other times I have a parenetic or an encouraging aim that seeks to offer perspective and help. This is one of such posts. Monks like Merton always give me clarity. I think that’s what is needed in these crazy times.

The point to grasp today is to rest and find peace with God and not to look for it in God’s gifts. I am tempted to think, if I have make a purchase, have an experience, or buy something that my soul will find rest.

All the earth is filled with unrest, but only God is the source of infinite peace. Though I may feel lost in a world filled with sorrow, noise and rejection, God offers joy, stillness, and silent acceptance.

Merton (and I) contemplate this because we have cherished the gifts over the Giver. Perhaps you have too? To grow in generosity allow the waves of God’s love to wash over you again and again and refresh your praise.