Merton on Hope

Ran into these this morning; really needed them.

When our hope is pure, it no longer trusts exclusively in human and visible means, nor rests in any visible end. He who hopes in God trusts God, Whom he never sees, to bring him to the possession of things that are beyond imagination.

We do not hope for what we have. Therefore, to live in hope is to live in poverty, having nothing… The only thing faith and hope do not give us is the clear vision of (God). We are united to Him in darkness, because we have to hope.

Hope empties our hands in order that we may work with them. It shows us that we have something to work for, and teaches us how to work for it.

Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island

Hope is the gift that I desperately need, but it is a severe gift. It is not a comfortable, warm and fuzzy naiveté. It is a mature, open-eyed relationship with reality and the One who stands above, behind and inside reality.

As with everything: It ain’t easy, but it’s simple.


The Prayer I Pray

There’s the prayer I pray—the words you speak, the words that form on my lips…

Our Father, who exists everywhere, always
Keep your Name set apart and special
May your Kingdom come, and your will be done
In my life and in this world just as it is done in your presence

Give us today the things we need for today
And forgive our shortcomings as we forgive other people theirs

Please keep us from harm and times of trial
And deliver from us from Evil

The kingdom is yours, and yours is the power, and the glory
Forever and ever,

… and then, there’s the prayer I live.

My ego, who lives in me,
Keep my reputation intact.
MY agenda come true,
MY will come be imposed
On everyone, just like it is in my mind.

Give ME everything I want (and I mean EVERYTHING) forever and always
And strike down those who think I’m less than “all that”
And keep me oblivious to mown faults.

For I rule this world, I have the power
And I get the the glory.
Forever and ever.
(And I don’t care if anyone agrees with this or not.)

It was a wake up call when I realized that the two don’t match.

Quote on Spirituality

We cannot borrow (spirituality), putting it on for an hour or a day, using it like a cloak to cover the hardness in our heart or the angry or jealous thoughts in our mind. Spirituality is not a pet project that we can take up for a month two; it is never a ‘hobby.’

The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning

Fragment, 4.13.2019

I AM the mournful wail at midnight.
I AM the knife, the bottleneck on the strings.
I AM the dark night, and I am the walker.
I AM the cold ground, and I am the one sleeping.
I AM the wail.
I AM the flat five.
I AM the blue note.

Poem fragment, from writing exercise.

Words to Live By

 In that day you will say:
“I will praise you, Lord.
    Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
    and you have comforted me.
Surely God is my salvation;
    I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense;
    he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water
    from the wells of salvation.

In that day you will say:
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done,
    and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
    let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
    for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Isaiah 12


13 “Keep silent and let me speak;
    then let come to me what may.
14 Why do I put myself in jeopardy
    and take my life in my hands?
15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
    I will surely[a] defend my ways to his face.
16 Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance,
    for no godless person would dare come before him!
17 Listen carefully to what I say;
    let my words ring in your ears.
18 Now that I have prepared my case,
    I know I will be vindicated.
19 Can anyone bring charges against me?
    If so, I will be silent and die.

Job Chapter 13

Just a Thought

We must be consumed either by the anger of the storm god or by the love of the living God. There is no way around life and its sufferings. Our only choice is whether we will be consumed by the fire of our own heedless fears and passions or allow God to refine us in his fire and to shape us into a fitting instrument for his revelation.

Thomas Cahill, The Gifts of the Jews