Behind the Smokescreen of Amusements…

Fr Thomas Merton speaks with blazing clarity of true spiritual war: What is it that makes every man struggle with himself? It is the deep, persistent voice of his own discontent with himself. Fallen man cannot abide to live with himself. Now the apparent peace which the world gives is bought with the price of…

It lets itself be led by them into uncharted land…

“The mature heart does not seek to force force belief on others; it does not seek to impose a faith. The mature heart listens for what another’s heart is called to be. It no longer judges or condemns. It is a heart of forgiveness. Such a heart is a compassionate heart that sees the presence…

Withdraw thy heart from the love of visible things…

“Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity” (Eccles. 1:2), besides loving God and serving Him alone. This is the highest wisdom, by despising the world to tend to heavenly kingdoms. It is vanity, therefore, to seeks after riches which must perish, and to trust in them. It is vanity also to be ambitious of honors,…

Prayer the church’s banquet…

Prayer the church’s banquet, angel’s age, God’s breath in man returning to his birth, The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage, The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth Engine against th’ Almighty, sinner’s tow’r, Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear, The six-days world transposing in an hour, A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;…

He who with the help of God’s grace…

He who with the help of God’s grace, becomes aware of the will’s constant movements and learns to direct them toward God will never fail to taste something of heaven’s joy even in this life and, certainly in the next, he will savor it fully. – Excerpt from chapter 4 of The Cloud of Unknowing

It seems strange to say…

…that the purer and clearer the supernatural and divine light the more dark is it in the soul, and that it is less so when less pure. But this may be easily explained; if we keep in mind the saying of the philosopher that supernatural things are more dark to the understanding the more clear…

In a dark night…

I. In a dark night, With anxious love inflamed, O, happy lot! Forth unobserved I went, My house being now at rest. II. In darkness and in safety, By the secret ladder, disguised, O, happy lot! In darkness and concealment, My house being now at rest, III. In that happy night, In secret, seen of…

To be thus the prisoner of one’s own selfhood…

“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?” “Isolation in the self, inability to go out of oneself to others, would mean incapacity for any form of self-transcendence.  To be thus the prisoner of one’s own selfhood is, in fact,…

He must increase, I must decrease…

Personal love for Jesus demands an equal measure of self-disregard. John the Baptist proclaimed: “He must increase; I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30). So, as the inner self becomes more powerful, the outer self loses its total control over our lives. “The external self is fading away but our inner [self] is being renewed day by…

It was obvious to me…

…that things which are liable to corruption are good. If they were the supreme goods, or if they were not good at all, they could not be corrupted. For if they were supreme goods, they would be incorruptible. If there were no good in them, there would be nothing capable of being corrupted. Corruption does…

We shall be like him…

My heart sang as I read this today during Office of Readings; St Augustine reflecting on the stretching, cleansing growth of the soul through emptying and un-knowing: We have been promised that we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.  By these words, the tongue has done its best; now…