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the real self

The real self

I consider that the spiritual life is the life of [one’s] real self, the life of that interior self whose flame is so often allowed to be smothered under the ashes of anxiety and futile concern.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

In these few words Merton has spelled out the scope of this blog:

  • the ‘real self’ God made us to be
  • how to find that self
  • how to fan it aflame amid the ashes of our lives

It boils down to what I have come to believe is the good news of the Gospel:

Following Jesus leads us from our fake selves to our real selves,

from living in our heads to living from our hearts,

from advancing our own agendas to receiving the gift of His,

from thirsting for the next transient thrill to drinking deeply of eternal life.

dw

  • What do you think of the notion that each of us has a ‘real self’ that God loves and nurtures?
  • To what extent do you feel in touch with your real self?
  • What are the ashes in your life that hinder your real self from emerging and thriving?

I encourage you to consider writing out your answers, either in a journal or in the comments section.

Grace and peace to you…

dw

p.s. this, too, is a refresh of an earlier post

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Current Events Other Writings

Half the civilized world

How is it that our comfortable society has lost its sense of the value of truthfulness? Life has become so easy that we think we can get along without telling the truth…

But the whole world has learned to deride veracity or to ignore it. Half the civilized world makes a living by telling lies. Advertising, propaganda, and all the other forms of publicity that have taken place of truth have taught men to take it for granted that they can tell other people whatever they like provided that it sounds plausible and evokes some kind of shallow emotional response.

No Man is an Island, Thomas Merton, “Sincerity”

Merton published this in 1955. Yes, 1955. Television in its infancy. No internet.

The attack on Truth that is relentless now has been relentless since the very beginning, the Deceiver saying in the Garden of Eden, “Did God really say…?”

Deceit pits us against each other, makes us see each other as deceivers, as enemies. It causes us to pronounce judgement on each other. Our compassion is throttled by fear for our own well being, that we are somehow being tricked or scammed.

But we all have a common Enemy, the one whom scripture calls “the father of lies.” Why he hates us, I don’t understand; but he does.

I can’t help but think that if we could remember we all have this common Enemy; if we could all embrace the wondrous news that we also have a common Friend and Ally, who came to bear witness to Truth and who gave himself up to rescue us and secure us forever in his Kingdom of Truth…oh, if we could remember and embrace these things, what a difference it would make!

Come, Spirit of God, Spirit of Jesus, Come!

dw

Copyright © 2020, becomingflame.com

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Current Events Other Writings

Love included

The “truth” that makes another man seem cheap hides another truth that we should never forget, and which would make him remain always worthy of honor in our sight. To destroy truth with truth under the pretext of being sincere is a very insincere way of telling a lie.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sincerity

cropped-david-monje-2199131.jpg

If love is not in the truth I tell, then I’m not telling the whole truth.

Not telling the whole truth reveals the truth that I am not whole.

That I am not whole means I am part of the problem.

When Jesus says Repent, he asks me to own up to that.

Then he says, Follow me and I will make you whole, part of the solution, able to tell the whole truth, love included.

dw

Copyright © 2020, becomingflame.com