Other Writings

 

Upon our hope, therefore, depends the liberty of the whole universe. Because our hope is the pledge of a new heaven and a new earth, in which all things will be what they were meant to be.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

cropped-david-monje-2199131.jpg

If my hope

Is the toe hold

The universe needs

To stay on the face

Of liberty;

Though barely a seam,

May it remain

As steadfast

As the One

Who made it

The anchor

Of my soul.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

 

Freedom is perfect when no other love can impede our desire to love God.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

cropped-david-monje-2199131.jpg
From John’s gospel, Chapter 8:

31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Harper Bibles. NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (Kindle Locations 79992-79998). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Grace and peace and freedom to you…

dw

 

 

This is the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil — disgust with the things we have misused and hatred of ourselves for misusing them.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

cropped-david-monje-2199131.jpg

That tree, you know the one,
where Eve got sucker punched
and Adam melted away,
didn’t even stand up for her,
distracted, maybe, by the spectre
of knowing her nakedness
apart from her soul,
thus beginning the dehumanizing
of one image of God by another,
the desecration of created things,
the discounting of God who made them;

That tree, you know the one,
that bides its time
while we distract ourselves
knowing the distraction will quiet
and we will one day stare and swallow
at the noose our own demand
to experience something other than God’s provision,
the difference between Good and Evil,
has tied for us –
we the condemner and the condemned;

That tree, you know the one,
where our discounted God
hung on our behalf
to show us pure Good,
to cut us free.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

 

 

It would be a sin to place any limit upon our hope in God. We must love Him without measure. All sin is rooted in the failure of love. All sin is a withdrawal of love from God, in order to love something else. Sin sets boundaries to our hope, and locks our love in prison.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

cropped-david-monje-2199131.jpg

Sin:
exchanging our greatest love
for something less,
hoping for less than what we have assurance of,
settling for even less than we hope for,
accepting a story of non-provision,
covetousness rewriting hope’s history
into a bleak tragedy
of love beyond our reach
just outside the bars
of the unlocked cell
we are dying in

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

Photo by chris panas on Unsplash
  1. I started becomingflame.com a little over 18 months ago, have kept with it, and I think the original About page still describes what I’m up to.
  2. I look forward to writing each post and to being surprised each time at what actually comes together.
  3. I read differently now, always being on the lookout for things to share here. I like that.
  4. The most difficult part of each post is finding a photo – it usually accounts for 90% of the time it takes me to finish and publish a post.
  5. I’ve learned that I don’t like writing prose – makes me feel like I need to explain everything as though I’m writing to an audience of brains instead of hearts-and-brains-connected. Just sayin’…that’s where I am right now.
  6. I’ve met dear people whom I’ve grown to love and who have contributed significantly to me through their writings and interactions. Someday soon I’ll share links to their blogs.
  7. I seem to have become a significant site for finding Mary Oliver’s poem “Praying” – that post is far and away the one most visited on my site, getting views almost every day. (What better honor could I have? I can’t imagine one.)
  8. I worry that my more conservative friends and family think I’ve gone over the edge, have “drunk the kool-aid”. All I can say is that I love Jesus more now than I ever have, that I feel more compassion for others than I ever have, and that I love sharing that here in language that is hopefully fresh and alive.
  9. I’m aiming for your hearts, because I think God is aiming for mine.
  10. Who say’s I need a 10th?

Grace and peace to you…

dw

 

 

CHRISTIANS MUST ALWAYS NOURISH in their hearts the fullness of joy. Try to do that, sisters and brothers. I have tried it many times, and in the most bitter situations, when slander and persecution are at their worst, I have united myself intimately with Christ as my friend, and I have tasted a sweetness that all the joys of earth cannot give. It is the joy of God’s intimacy, the profoundest joy the heart can experience, even when people don’t understand you.

Romero, Oscar. The Scandal of Redemption (Plough Spiritual Guides: Backpack Classics) (p. 35). Plough Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

cropped-david-monje-2199131.jpg

6 In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7 so that the genuineness of your faith— being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire— may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:6-9

Harper Bibles. NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (Kindle Locations 87282-87287). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

 

All desires but one can fail. The only desire that is infallibly fulfilled is the desire to be loved by God. We cannot desire this efficaciously without at the same time desiring to love Him, and the desire to love Him is a desire that cannot fail. Merely by desiring to love Him, we are beginning to do that which we desire.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

cropped-david-monje-2199131.jpg

You have made it simple,
so simple only a child,
or some childishness within us
we haven’t trampled in our trudge to adulthood,
has the precociousness and audacity to believe:
that the mere act of turning to You
guarantees a smile
beckoning us to come sit
and be blessed.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com