No, this isn’t another new Bush administration cabinet position, but the book I am currently reading ñ New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton. Where, oh where, can I begin discussion of this book? I am only 5 chapters in, but I am thoroughly interested in what I am reading.
I think I will begin with what I think Merton is saying is necessary before even beginning the process of contemplation.
In the first 5 chapters He has referred many times to the 2 selves contained in the human spirit. The Real Self and The False Self: The first being the pure entity created by God, and the later being the egocentric entity created by us.
I know in my case it is hard to separate the Real from the False. ìWe are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the one we cherish about our selves ñ the ones we are born with and which feed the roots of sinî (34). For me, being aware of this is one of the major parts of beginning a contemplative lifestyle. Which lead me to the next partóthe need to constantly be active in the pursuit of the Real self. This is a vigilant process, for it takes constant communication with ìI AM.î Trying to find ìHE WHO ISî in everything. This reminds me of the constant prayer of the Celtic people. ìOur vocation is not simply to be, but to work together with God in the creation of our own life, our own identity, our own destinyî (32).
In order for me to do these things it needs to be an act done from an open heart. ìBy consenting to His will with joy and doing it with gladness I have His love in my heart, because my will is now the same as His Love and I am on the way to becoming g what He is, Who is Love. And by accepting all thing from Him I receive His joy into my soul, not because things are what they are buut because God is Who He Is, and His love has willed my joy in them allî (18).
So, how does one go about this? That is what I am working on. One way for me to do this is to begin to work on prayer. I pray, but at times I feel as though I am just going by habit. I need to learn to pray, again. I need to work on focus. I tend to veer of in the middle of doing somethingÖI have been writing this blog for 4 hours now, because I keep wondering off.
Overall, this book is going to be very beneficial.
Veritas vos liberabit (The truth will set you free)