Hopeful Nudges

With the noise, the distractions and the uncertainties of everyday life is it really possible to choose to love the world we live in? This is a question in a devotional I’ve been reading in January. Choosing to Love the World thoughts and meditations of Thomas Merton.

Merton, although a monk and contemplative was also an activist, he never held the world at arm’s length. He says, “We and our world interpenetrate. It is only by assuming full responsibility for our world, for our lives and ourselves, that we can be said to really live for God.”

Personal responsibility, convicting honest words. When we feel slighted, or our comfort zones are threatened, it’s easy to lay blame for the state of our world on others. Many of us feel we are at a crossroads when it comes to our politics and our relationships with others. Many have come here looking for sanctuary, hope for their future and their families. My sister-in-law Rosani, came to the US thirty years ago as a young women. She sustained and supported a household, she raised two children under some very difficult circumstances, working two, three, or more jobs. She taught herself English by watching Sesame Street on television. Her oldest son joined the Marines right out of high school and served in the Middle East. He is now home working on a degree in civil engineering. Her youngest son graduated last spring with a degree in chemical engineering. We share this country, this planet with many diverse cultures and people. Do we feel the responsibility to sustain dignity and nurture this life giving universe and planet for all God’s children?

“To be one with the One we cannot see is to be hidden, to be nowhere, to be no one: it is to be unknown as He is unknown, forgotten as He is forgotten, lost as He is lost to the world which nevertheless exists in Him. Yet to live in Him is to live by His power, to reach from end to end of the universe in the might of His wisdom, to rule and form all things in and with Him. It is to be the hidden instrument of His Divine Action, the minister of His Redemption, the channel of His Mercy, and the messenger of His Infinite Love.”

There are hopeful nudges in Merton’s prayerful reflections. They inspire me to deepen my own prayer life. They help me remember that God often works beneath the surface of what we see daily and there are wonderful possibilities inside all things.

Father God,

I tend to resist change and even fear it at times, and yet I know I need it. I choose to open myself to your spirit and your life giving word. Thank you Father, for hopeful nudges.


Lois Autterson

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