Monday, January 7, 2008

solitude - dancing in the water of life

This week's reflection, from The Merton Institute. I find these words of Merton to be very affirming and life-giving, and want to add them to this collection.

I come into solitude to die and love. I come here to be created by the Spirit in Christ.

I am called here to grow. "Death" is a critical point of growth, or transition to a new mode of being; to a maturity and fruitfulness that I do not know (they are in Christ and in His Kingdom). The child in the womb does not know what will come after birth. He must be born in order to live. I am here to face death as my birth.

This solitude-a refuge under His wings, a place to hide myself in His Name, therefore, a sanctuary where the grace of Baptism remains a conscious, living, active reality valid not only for me but for the whole Church. Here, planted as a seed in the cosmos, I will be a Christ seed, and bring fruit for other men. Death and rising in Christ.

Thomas Merton. Dancing in the Water of Life. Journals, Volume 5. Robert E. Daggy, editor. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1997: 333-334.

Thought to Remember:
I need to be "confirmed" in my vocation by the Spirit... This ordains me to be the person I am and to have the particular place and function I have, to be myself in the sense of choosing to tend toward what God wants me to be, and to orient my whole life to being the person He loves.

Dancing in the Water of Life: 334


  1. How do we know when we are choosing to tending toward being the kind of person God wants us to be?

  2. This is beautiful, Beth. I pray that we all find this solitude, this "refuge under His wings".

    Marc has chosen a line which especially caught me as well. Perhaps the most reliable way of knowing is by the fruits that are produced in our lives, and by that kind of freedom Merton speaks of so often, the kind we experience in the assurance of His love.

  3. My sense, Marc, is that part of becoming the person that we are meant to be, is letting go of "watching" ourselves, and letting ourselves "be". An abandonment that is deeper than "knowing". More like trust, I guess, that who we are and how we are is what is most necessary to be brought to the world.

    Thanks for your comments, Marc and Gabrielle. I too love that image of "refuge under his [sic] wing", Gabrielle.

  4. Thanks for the response -it was helpful! I put a link to your page on my blog - I hope you don't mind...


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