Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring . . . Sometime

Still cold; cloudy days, and rain . . . every now and then I catch a glimpse of a tree veiled in pale, transparent color . . . or a smudge of yellow or purple on the ground where a daffodil or crocus has managed to bloom. Sheer brushstrokes of color imperceptibly appear. This spring is so slow. Maybe shy, hesitant--scared to come out, scared the seasons will reverse and a black and haggard winter will leap out at her. Maybe I'm scared too.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

In Honor of Books Finished Yesterday

She was barnacled with pieces of popular wisdom.

~ Graham Greene, Brighton Rock, pt. 7, ch. 8


Paradoxically, then, though Christ himself accomplishes the work of our sanctification, the more he does so the more it tends to cost us. The further we advance the more he tends to take away our own strength and deprive us of our own human and natural resources, so that in the end we find ourselves in complete poverty and darkness. This is the situation that we find most terrible, and it is against this that we rebel. For the strange, sanctifying mystery of Christ's death in us, we substitute the more familiar and comforting routine of our own activity: we abandon his will and take refuge in the more trivial, but more "satisfying," procedures which interest us and enable us to be interesting in the eyes of others. We think that in this way we can find peace, and make our lives fruitful: but we delude ourselves, and our activity turns out to be spiritually sterile.

~ Thomas Merton, Life and Holiness, conclusion

Saturday, March 07, 2009

We must not only see ourselves as we are,

in all our nothingness and insignificance; we must not only learn to love and appreciate our own emptiness, but we must accept completely the reality of our life as it is, because it is the very reality which Christ wills to take to himself, which he transforms and sanctifies in his own image and likeness.

~ Thomas Merton, Life and Holiness, pt. 3, "Flesh and Spirit"