G*D’s view of us from the Contemplative’s perspective

September 15, 2013

Thomas Merton ~ A Book of Hours,

Beginning on pages 176 and paraphrased ever so slightly….

It is useless to look for what is everywhere,  ….  and hopeless to hope for what cannot be had because you have it already.

The contemplative life is the search for peace, not in an abstract exclusion of all outside reality or a barren negative closing of the senses … but in the openness of love.

It begins with the acceptance of my own self, my nearness to despair in order to recognize that where G*D is, there can be no despair and G*D is in me even if I despair.

Nothing can change G*D’s love for me, since my very existence is the sign that G*D loves me and the presence of His love creates and sustains me.

Nor is there any need to understand how this can be or to explain it, or solve the problems it seems to raise.

For there is in our hearts, and in the very ground of our being, is a natural certainty which is co-extensive with our very existence:

a certainty that says that insofar as we exist, we are penetrated through and through with the sense and reality of G*D — even though we may be utterly unable to believe or experience this in philosophic or even religious terms.

Oh my brother, the contemplative is not the person who has fiery visions of the cherubim carrying G*D on their imagined chariot,

but simply someone who has risked his or her mind in the desert beyond language and beyond ideas, where G*D is encountered in the nakedness of pure trust …

in the surrender of our poverty and incompleteness, … no longer to clench our minds in a cramp upon themselves as if thinking made us exist.  

The message of hope the contemplative offers …. is not that you need to find your way through the jungle of language and problems that today surround G*D:

but whether you understand or not,

G*D loves you,

is present in you,

lives in you,

dwells in you,

calls to you,

saves you,

and offers you an understanding and light which are like nothing you ever found in books or heard in sermons.

The contemplative has nothing to tell you except to reassure you and say that if you dare to penetrate your own silence and risk the sharing that solitude with the lonely ‘other’ who seeks G*D through you,

then you will truly recover the light and 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.