Daily Riches: Cutting Through Political and Religious Illusions (Vernon Howard, Thomas Merton and Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

“Every day that you attempt to see things as they are in truth is a supremely successful day.” Vernon Howard

“It seems to me that the most basic problem is not political, it is apolitical and human. One of the most important things to do is to keep cutting deliberately through political lines and barriers and emphasizing the fact that these are largely fabrications and that there is another dimension, a genuine reality, totally opposed to the fictions of politics…. My own peculiar task in my Church and in my world has been that of the solitary explorer who, instead of jumping on all the latest bandwagons at once, is bound to search the existential depths of faith in its silences, its ambiguities, and in those certainties which lie deeper than the bottom of anxiety. In those depths there are no easy answers, no pat solutions to anything. It is a kind of submarine life in which faith sometimes mysteriously takes on the aspect of doubt, when, in fact, one has to doubt and reject conventional and superstitious surrogates that have taken the place of faith.” Thomas Merton

“The believer is neither a pessimist nor an optimist. To be either is illusory. The believer sees reality not in a certain light but as it is….” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus, in John 8:32

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Whether in understanding politics, your religion or the people in your life, do you practice the rule: “no easy answers [and] no pat solutions to anything?”
  • Might you may need to “doubt and reject conventional and superstitious surrogates that have taken the place of faith?” If not, why not?
  • With the passing of time, have you recognized suspect conventions or superstitions in your religious beliefs or political persuasions? Is there anyone (friend, author, opponent) that can help you do to so? How could that “set you free” in important ways?

Abba, help me to see and cut through the many fabrications of my day. Break down my misguided certainty, and help me to see things as they are in truth.

For More: Faith and Violence by Thomas Merton

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

3 thoughts on “Daily Riches: Cutting Through Political and Religious Illusions (Vernon Howard, Thomas Merton and Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

  1. Funny you should write about this text this week – it’s been on my mind as well, also in political terms. It’s been a very important text for years already, but at the moment, I’m digging more into the political history that is part of my family’s story, and this is very much why.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Check out these quotes Anyushka (which you’ll probably see again): “Even if we loathe our families, in order to know ourselves, we seem to need to know about them, just as prologue. Not to know is to live with some of the disorientation and anxiety of the amnesiac.” Elizabeth Stone / “What is emotionally rooted is not intellectually soluble.” William Sloane Coffin, Jr.

    Like

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