Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thomas Merton on the Spiritual Life

Although I cannot wholly endorse Merton or all of his writings, I can learn from one who quite beautifully wrote of life in Christ. His prose is both simple and stunning, and in my opinion says quite a bit more than many of our contemporary authors on matters of the heart. Although in my heart I am quite devoted to reformed theology, there is something in this Catholic monk that draws me in and calls me to the lived reality of life in Christ and not just theological astuteness. I came across this quote today as I was going back over Merton's No Man Is An Island, I hope it opens you as it did me.

"Now anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity. It is the fruit of unanswered questions. But questions cannot go unanswered unless they first be asked. And there is a far worse anxiety, a far worse insecurity, which comes from being afraid to ask the right questions - because they might turn out to have no answer. One of the moral diseases we communicate to one another in society comes from huddling together in the pale light of an insufficient answer to a question we are afraid to ask.
But there are other diseases also. There is laziness that pretends to dignify itself by the name of despair, and that teaches us to ignore both the question and the answer. And there is the despair which dresses itself up as science or philosophy and amuses itself with clever answers to clever questions - none of which have anything to do with the problems of life."

1 comment:

LiverofGod said...

Solid. So many people deal with the issues of anxiety today because of many reasons. The fear of man tops the list, however, within those leaders in the church. Isn't it interesting how many times fear cripples us from asking and answering the tough and often times "right" questions?

The answer is more than difficult because it usually lies within...

Thanks for the blog...