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Disorganized souls

…our need for truth is inescapable.

Instead of conforming ourselves to what is, we twist everything around, in our words and thoughts, to fit our own deformity.

The seat of this deformity is in the will. Although we still may speak the truth, we are more and more losing our desire to live according to the truth. Our wills are not true, because they refuse to accept the laws of our own being: they fail to work along the lines demanded by our own reality. Our wills are plunged in false values, and they have dragged our minds along with them, and our restless tongues bear constant witness to the disorganization inside our souls.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sincerity

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I’m not sure I can imagine a better description of where we are, as a culture, right now.

Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

May God help us. Amen.

dw

Copyright © 2020, becomingflame.com

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Other Writings Scripture

Crucifying the truth

 

We are too much like Pilate. We are always asking, “What is truth?” and then crucifying the truth that stands before our eyes.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sincerity

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I’m reading through Proverbs and using, for the first time, Eugene Peterson’s translation called The Message.  Bible reading has been a regular part of my life for many years. And, yes, it often becomes stale – I stop paying attention. When I notice that happening, I’ll often try a new translation: thus, I’m reading The Message now.

Scripture is part of the ‘truth that stands before our eyes.’ Paying attention to it helps open our eyes to truth still hidden from us, or that we are hiding from ourselves. The book of Proverbs is particularly challenging in that regard – read it and it will make you squirm.

This passage from Chapter 8 fits well with Thomas Merton’s challenge to us.  Lady Wisdom tells us we will recognize the truth if we have “truth-ready minds”.

Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well, I’m telling you how to live at your best. My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth— I can’t stand the taste of evil! You’ll only hear true and right words from my mouth; not one syllable will be twisted or skewed. You’ll recognize this as true—you with open minds; truth-ready minds will see it at once.

Peterson, Eugene H.. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language . The Navigators. Kindle Edition.

Father in heaven, may our minds and hearts be open to the truth you ‘stand before our eyes’ every hour of every day. Where would we be without your constant, faithful, truthful presence in our world?

dw

Copyright © 2020, becomingflame.com

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Telling the truth

 

We make ourselves real by telling the truth. Man can hardly forget that he needs to know the truth, for the instinct to know is too strong in us to be destroyed. But he can forget how badly he also needs to tell the truth.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sincerity

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My friends, if we give up on truth in these trying times for truth, we give up on life itself, and on the Giver of Life, who is the Spirit of Truth. Let us continue to seek and speak the truth, as best we can, as faithfully as we can, as long as we can, with as much love as we can.

May God help us. Amen.

dw

Copyright © 2020, becomingflame.com