“Our being is not to be enriched merely by activity and experience as such. Everything depends on the quality of our acts and our experiences. A multitude of badly performed actions and of experiences only half lived exhausts and depletes our being. …when our activity is habitually disordered, our malformed conscience can think of nothing better to tell us than to multiply the quantity of our acts, without perfecting their quality. And so we go from bad to worse, exhausting ourselves, empty our whole life of all content, and fall into despair. There are times, then, when in order to keep ourselves in existence at all we simply have to sit back for a while and do nothing. And for a man who has let himself be drawn completely out of himself by his activity, nothing is more difficult than to sit still and rest, doing nothing at all. The very act of resting is the hardest and most courageous act he can perform; and often it is quite beyond his power.” Thomas Merton
“Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.” George MacDonald
“When we discover the secret of being inwardly at worship while outwardly at work, we find that the soul’s silence brings us to God and God to us.” Brent Bill
“my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Jesus, in Matthew 11:30
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Are you aware of activity in your life that “depletes your being”, leaving you exhausted, unhappy or guilty because of its “disordered” nature?
- When you feel that way, is your response to simply multiply “the quantity” of your acts? (more “badly performed actions” and “experiences only half lived”)
- Are you able to “do nothing at all?” to practice “sacred idleness” in order to “keep yourself in existence?”
- What practice could help you to “find the soul’s silence”, both in work and in rest?
Abba, may my soul find peace with you in both my work and my rest.
For More: No Man Is An Island by Thomas Merton
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.”