Merton: Faith Rooted in the Abyss

merton windowCatholic monk Thomas Merton had a very human and real understanding of “faith” and the rigors of trying to live as a human being in an inhumane society.

Most of you, even with all that you have to suffer, are much better off than you realize. Yet the [human] heart can be full of so much pain, even when things are exteriorly “all right.” It becomes all the more difficult because today we are used to thinking that there are explanations for everything. But there is no explanation for most of what goes on in our own hearts, and we cannot account for it all. No use resorting to mental tranquilizers that even religious explanations sometimes offer. Faith must be deeper than that, rooted in the unknown and in the abyss of darkness that is the ground of our being. No use teasing the darkness to try to make answers grow out of it. But if we learn how to have a deep inner patience, things solve themselves, or God solves them if you prefer, but do not expect to see how. Just learn to wait, and do what you can and help other people.–Thomas Merton

The Road to Joy, Robert E. Daggy, editor (FSG 1989, p.94)

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