Tuesday, May 1, 2007

truth that is incarnate

"Faith of course tells us that we live in a time of eschatological struggle, facing a fierce combat which marshals all the forces of evil and darkness against the still invisible truth, yet this combat is already decided by the victory of Christ over death and over sin. The Christian can renounce the protection of violence and risk being humble, therefore vulnerable, not because she trusts in the supposed efficacy of a gentle and persuasive tactic that will disarm hatred and tame cruelty, but because she believes that the hidden power of the Gospel is demanding to be manifested in and through her own poor person. Hence in perfect obedience to the Gospel, she effaces herself and her own interests and even risks her life in order to testify not simply to "the truth" in a sweeping idealistic and purely platonic sense, but to the truth that is incarnate in a concrete human situation, involving living persons whose rights are denied or whose lives are threatened."

Thomas Merton. Faith and Violence: Christian Teaching and Christian Practice. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968: 18-19

Emphasis is mine. This quote is this week's weekly reflection from The Merton Instutite for Contemplative Living.

Note: I find it interesting that The Merton Institute has taken liberty to change the masculine dominant pronoun of Merton's writing to the feminine -- "she". I am always tempted to "correct" Merton's use of the masculine pronoun references to God to a more inclusive way of writing, which I'm sure he would have adopted if he had lived a little longer. However one of my readers took issue with me, and convinced me that I needed to leave Merton's writing as he wrote them.

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Lax photography

Robert Lax (1915-2000), Untitled, 1970s; black and white photograph, 11 x 17 inches; Robert Lax Archives. St. Bonaventure University ...