"The message of hope the contemplative offers you, then, brother, is not that you need to find your way through the jungle of language and problems that today surround God: but that whether you understand or not, God loves you, is present in you, lives in you, dwells in you, calls you, saves you, and offers you an understanding and light which are like nothing you ever found in books or heard in sermons."
Amen to that! Thomas Merton is a man of God whose works have touched me deeply and have had a profound effect on my spiritual approach. The above passage was from a letter he wrote upon Pope Paul VI's request for him, and others specifically selected, to write a letter to the world sharing the contemplative perspective.
In his letter Merton emphasizes the need to abandon all illusions and attachments, all notions of self and ideas, and simply reach out in simplicity and pure devotion towards God. What a beautiful message!
In his letter, Merton assures readers, " All men can seek and find this intimate awareness and awakening" and tells us,
"...if you dare to penetrate your own silence and risk the sharing of that solitude with the lonely other who seeks God through you, then you will truly recover the light and the capacity to understand what is beyond words and beyond explanations because it is too close to be explained: it is the intimate union in the depths of your own heart, of God's spirit and your own secret inmost self, so that you and He are in all truth One Spirit."
Praise be to a God who offers His children the peace of having intimate union with Him! May we be continual seekers of His presence within us as we grow deeper in our faith.
Thank you for being a God of love and unending faithfulness. A God who dwells within us. Who makes it possible, if we give you all that we are and lay down at the foot of your throne all attachments and illusions of self and world, the extraordinary experience of your deep and abiding presence. An encounter that transcends words and surpasses understanding. A peace that anchors our faith and our souls firmly to you. May we never cease to seek you more and more and through the peace you offer may we be strengthened to go out into the world, which is weary with the weight of sin and death, and carry your message of light and love and glorify your blessed name.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.