Sunday, March 30, 2008

Way of Perfection

Belatedly, I thank my friend, Mara, for the last post--the wisdom of Merton quote. I have loved Thomas Merton for a long time--ever since reading Seven Storey Mountain twelve years or so ago. I have taken this little exerpt of wisdom to heart--as if it was directed to me personally--in a good way I hope. 'A reproof makes more impression on a person of understanding than a hundred strokes on a fool.' (Proverbs 17:10) I pray that I have a little understanding.

On Thursday, I meditated on the passage as a good one for the Easter season. I don't know about anyone else, but I always have a very difficult time with the Easter season. We are supposed to be Joyful and while I am, it seems to unfocus my spiritual life--especially after the discipline of Lent. Laugh at me, but I often find myself missing Lent when Easter comes. So I was grateful for the 'suggestion' because it seemed to fit me so perfectly and seemed to be a message from God. At Adoration on Thursday, Santa Teresa gave me these words as well which seemed further elaboration of Merton's words,

From Way of Perfection, Chapter 19: There are some souls, and some minds, as unruly as horses not yet broken in. No one can stop them: now they go this way, now that way; they are never still. Although a skilled rider mounted on such a horse may not always be in danger, he will be so sometimes; and, even if he is not concerned about his life, there will always be the risk of his stumbling, so that he has to ride with great care. Some people are either like this by nature or God permits them to become so. I am very sorry for them; they seem to me like people who are very thirsty and see water a long way off, yet, when they try to go to it, find someone who all the time is barring their path—at the beginning of their journey, in the middle and at the end. And when, after all their labour—and the labour is tremendous—they have conquered the first of their enemies, they allow themselves to be conquered by the second, and they prefer to die of thirst rather than drink water which is going to cost them so much trouble. Their strength has come to an end; their courage has failed them; and, though some of them are strong enough to conquer their second enemies as well as their first, when they meet the third group their strength comes to an end, though perhaps they are only a couple of steps from the fountain of living water, of which the Lord said to the Samaritan woman that 'whosoever drinks of it shall not thirst again'. (St. John iv, 13.) How right and how very true is that which comes from the lips of Truth Himself! In this life the soul will never thirst for anything more, although its thirst for things in the life to come will exceed any natural thirst that we can imagine here below. How the soul thirsts to experience this thirst! For it knows how very precious it is, and, grievous though it be and exhausting, it creates the very satisfaction by which this thirst is allayed. It is therefore a thirst which quenches nothing but desire for earthly things, and, when God slakes it, satisfies in such a way that one of the greatest favours He can bestow on the soul is to leave it with this longing, so that it has an even greater desire to drink of this water again.

Blessings on Divine Mercy Sunday!

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