It’s early morning again. I’m reading Merton’s journal for April 1 where he discusses obedience.
I found myself savoring one particular sentence where he wrote,
But in so far as we desire, with Christ, that the Father’s will may be done in us, as it is in heaven and in Christ, then even the smallest and most ordinary things are made holy and great. (highlighting added)
This recent time has been a one of waiting and worry, of deepening concern where I must learn (and relearn it seems with each new day) to trust and have faith, to lean on and submit to Him whose will I desire above all things. As each day has passed, my prayers for what I thought was desirable have gone seemingly unanswered and yet I know He has heard me.
I know this just because. This is our faith. But, I know this, too, because along the way He has sent me many beautiful reassurances – on holy waiting and patience; on the differences between worry and prayer; and here, where Merton goes on to write:
And then in all things the love of God opens and flowers, and our lives are transformed. This transformation is a manifestation and advent of God in the world.
One of the fruits of a solitary life is a sense of the absolute importance of obeying God—a sense of the need to obey and to seek His will, to choose freely to see and accept what comes from Him, not as a last resort, but as one’s “daily super-substantial bread.” Liberation from automatic obedience into the seriousness and gravity of a free choice to submit. (highlighting added)
Accepting what our Lord provides, ‘not as a last resort,’ but as all we need and precisely what we need for that day. And not just passively accepting His will, but actively participating in His plan by making ‘a free choice to submit.’
Then, I almost laughed out loud as I read Merton’s final thought. He wrote:
But it is not easy to see always where and how!
Well, no it’s not. But our Lord loves us – even in our feeble and flawed attempts to do His will.
Another day has dawned. Another day filled with opportunities to choose first to submit to the wonder He has planned for us, to give thanks, to rejoice and be glad.