Merton writes that even though contemplation and sanctity are found through deprivation, most of us so fear fully relying on God that we end up depriving ourselves of the experience.
The prospect of this wilderness is something that so appalls most men that they refuse to enter upon its burning sands and travel among its rocks. They cannot believe that contemplation and sanctity are to be found in a desolation where there is no food and no shelter and no refreshment for their imagination and intellect and for the desires of their nature.
I fear I don’t yet have strength enough to withstand the kind of deprivation he describes here…certainly not without failure. Yet, Our Father in heaven promises to sustain us.
I believe that. But I don’t come close to acting in ways that really test my faith.
Could I ever let go of the dock — its security, its familiarity and substance and provision — and step wholly into Our Father’s boat? Could I let go and be completely dependent on His provision and substance — secure in His love?
My friend Angie over at Family Answers Fast wrote to say of Lenten sacrifices that
It is your desire to please God that is so pleasing.
And she directed me to her friend, Diane’s comments who added that Lent for her meant finding
little things, little opportunities throughout the day to deny my self in order to love Him better.
I love Thomas Merton and I’m inspired by his call to austerity and trust, but I am blessed and comforted, by loving friends and their encouragement — God’s encouragement, through them — of my search for understanding.
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