Daily Riches: Without Excuse or Defense Before God (Thomas Merton)

“ …we should let ourselves be brought naked and defenceless into the center of that dread where we stand alone before God in our nothingness, without explanation, without theories, completely dependent upon his providential care, in dire need of the gift of his grace, his mercy and the light of faith. …But when the time comes to enter the darkness in which we are naked and helpless and alone; in which we see the insufficiency of our greatest strength and the hollowness of our strongest virtues; in which we have nothing of our own to rely on, and nothing in our nature to support us, and nothing in the world to guide us or give us light – then we find out whether or not we live by faith.” Thomas Merton

“I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne;
 and the train of his robe filled the temple.
Above him were seraphim, each with six wings:
With two wings they covered their faces,
with two they covered their feet,
and with two they were flying.
And they were calling to one another:
‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.’
At the sound of their voices
the doorposts and thresholds shook
and the temple was filled with smoke.
‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined!
For I am a man of unclean lips,
and I live among a people of unclean lips,
and my eyes have seen the King,
the Lord Almighty.’”
 Isaiah 6:1-5

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Can you imagine being “brought naked and defenceless … before God?” …“standing alone before God in your nothingness?” …feeling “undone” in the presence of God?
  • Why would Merton suggest that we not resist this? (“we should let ourselves be brought…”)
  • Teresa of Avila prayed, “Let me not be afraid to linger here in your presence will all my humanity exposed. For you are God – you are not surprised by my frailties, my continuous failures.” Can you use these words as the basis for a prayer of your own?

Abba, it’s dreadfully painful to have all my humanity exposed before anyone, including you. It’s in your presence though, that I am exposed yet safe. In spite of my all my humanity, may I linger before you today, presenting myself for healing – and may I do this without any attempt to lessen the pain by offering up explanations or excuses.

__________

For More: Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton

_________________________________________________

The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek God, and as he seeks you. My goal is to provide you with something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. Thanks for following and sharing my blog! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: When You’re “Disappearing” (David Whyte, Hafiz, Matthew Fox, Flannery O’Connor, Teresa of Avila) *

“It might be liberating for us to think of our onward life being informed as much by our losses and disappearances as by our gifted and virtuoso appearances and our marvelous arrivals. As if the foundational invitation being made to us at the core of our continual living and dying is an invitation to participate in the full seasonality of existence. Not just to feel fully here and fully justified in those haloed times when we are growing and becoming, and seen to be becoming, but also, to be just as present and to feel just as much here when we are in the difficult act of disappearing, often against our wills, making way often, for something we cannot as yet comprehend. The great and ancient art form and its daily practice; of living the full seasonal round of life; and a touchstone perhaps, of the ultimate form of human generosity: continually giving ourselves away to see how and in what form we are given back.” David Whyte in “Thoughts from San Miguel de Allende”

“Soul is our appetite, driving us to eat from the banquet of life. People filled with the hunger of soul take food from every dish before them, whether it be sweet or bitter.” Matthew Fox

img_0260

Tired of Speaking Sweetly
“Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup-talk of God.
If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room by your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.”
~ Hafiz

“If you cling to your life, you will lose it,
and if you let your life go, you will save it.”
Jesus in Luke 17:33

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you continually “living and dying?” Do you hear the “foundational invitation” that comes to you there?
  • Have losses and limits (perhaps aging) taught you about “disappearing?” about accepting something against your will? in a situation where you do not “comprehend?”
  • Can you explain what the words of Whyte, Hafiz, Fox, O’Connor and Jesus – perhaps all in unison – mean for your life?

“If I have you God, I will want for nothing. You alone suffice.”* Abba, work in me to make this my truth.

__________

*For More: Let Nothing Disturb You by Teresa of Avila

_________________________________________________

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.”