love

 

The devil believes in God but he has no God. The Lord is not his God…the damned have confirmed themselves in the belief that they cannot hope in God.

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

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I spent many years believing in God, but not hoping in him. Oh, doctrinally, yes, of course I “hoped” in God: it was the right thing to do. Doctrinally correct, and I could site chapter and verse to back it up. But there is an imposter for hope that is grim and cynical and never really expects, never really hopes, that any good will come. God is not really good, doesn’t really love me – all that is beyond hope.

Believe me, I’ve been there, and am so grateful I’m not there now. Over many years, gradually letting my grip loosen about being “right”, I find I am wrong and loved – both. It’s no longer up to me earning something; it’s about coming to know that God cherishes me and will lead me like a parent leads a little child. And hope awakens, softness awakens, love awakens. It’s not a buried treasure I will never find; it’s right there in my hand if I want to grasp it, the hand of God reaching for mine.

Grace and peace and hope to you…

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

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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

I must become convinced and penetrated by the realization that without my love for [another] they may perhaps not achieve the things God has willed for them.

My love must be to them the “sacrament” of the mysterious and infinitely selfless love God has for them.

The words I speak to them must be no other than the words of Christ Who deigns to reveal Himself to them in me.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

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I am not a Roman Catholic; reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church is not something that would have ever occurred to me to do. But I kept running into Catholic writers, one after another, who wrote about faith and life with a richness I hadn’t seen before: Walker Percy, Flannery O’Connor, Thomas Merton, James Martin, and Jean Vanier to name a few.  So I spent several years looking into Roman Catholicism in depth, which included reading through the Catechism…twice.

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The Soul Behind My Sin

Can you see the soul behind my sin?
Will you see what God sees, deep within?
Can you love the soul you see
behind the mask that I call Me?
Will you love what I can’t love,
lift it to the throne of God?
Can you see the soul I’m meant to be?

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