Friday, December 10, 2010 Thomas Merton Day

 From my inbox today :
Jesus clearly says the kingdom of heaven is among us (Luke 17:21) or “at hand” (Matthew 3:2, 4:17).  One wonders why we made it into a reward system for later, or as Brian McLaren calls it, “an evacuation plan for the next world.”  Maybe it was easier to obey laws and practice rituals for later than to actually be transformed now.
The price for real transformation is high.  It means that we have to change our loyalties from power, success, money and control (read: “our kingdoms”) to the Lordship of Jesus and the kingdom of God.  Henceforth, there is only one thing that is Absolute and in relationship to that, everything else is relative—everything—even the church, even our nation, even national security, even our wealth and our possessions, even our identity and our reputation.
Whatever you trust to validate you and secure you is your real god, and the Gospel is saying, “Will the real God please stand up?”
Adapted from Preparing for Christmas Richard Rohr 

Today is the 42nd anniversary of Thomas Merton's death . Somewhere in my blog archives there is a post on him which can be accessed here

This is one of my favourite Merton quotes :

“The things I thought were so important – because of the effort I put into them – have turned out to be of small value. And the things I was never able to either to measure or to expect, were the things that mattered.”

Many moons ago I discovered this Merton resource site which I link to again here for some great poster quotes.

Here is a sample one :

To close with :

"What is the purpose of meditation in the sense of “the prayer of the heart?” In the “prayer of the heart” we seek first of all the deepest ground of our identity in God. We do not reason about dogmas of faith, or “the mysteries.”
We seek rather to gain a direct existential grasp, a personal experience of the deepest truths of life and faith, finding ourselves in God’s truth. …Prayer then means yearning for the simple presence of God, for a personal understanding of [God's] word, for knowledge of [God's] will and for capacity to hear and obey him.– "

Thomas Merton

and this is the prayer for intercession from the blog 

Prayer for Thomas Merton's Intercession

Thomas Merton, venerable monk,
you are a wise teacher, saintly example of Gospel living and friend of God.
You lived an ordinary life of religious profession in an extraordinary way.
Your writing spoke to a world in need of a prophetic voice,
one that reflected the presence of God in the 'signs of the time' and
reminded the church of what it means to bear the name Christian.
On this day marking your transitus from this life to the next,
we ask for your prayers.
Our faith in the communion of saints allows us to call to mind
the connection we still have to you and all who have gone before us.
In a special way we request your intercession,
prayers to God for assistance in this life as we continue to follow the example of Jesus Christ
and remain open to the guidance of the Spirit.
Help us to live more fully the life that we profess in the name of Christ.
May we discard the masks of the false self to uncover our True Self,
and see who we really are in the eyes of God.
May we speak truth to power, challenging systems of injustice and poverty.
May we embrace the other, the stranger, the marginalized
and in doing so embrace Christ.
May we be open to dialogue with those of other faiths and traditions,
learning from them the wisdom God wishes to reveal to us through others.
We also remember you in prayer.
While your life, one of both human imperfection
and exemplary holiness, serves as a beacon of Christian
and interreligious light for so many,
your memory has yet to be admitted to the official canon of saints.
We pray that the universal church will come to recognize
what so many already see, you as a model of Christian living.
We ask this in the name of Christ our Lord.
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1 comment:

claire said...

Another super great post, Phil! Wow! Thank you!