Live and Help Live

“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 exits 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.” Thomas Merton

“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 my daily devotional readings for January, “Choosing To Love The World” thoughts and meditations from Thomas Merton. Merton, although a monk and contemplative never held the world at arm’s length. He says, “We and our world interpenetrate. It is only in assuming full responsibility for our world, for our lives and for ourselves, that we can be said to live really for God.”

Personal Responsibility, convicting honest words. It’s easy to lay blame for the state of our world at the feet of others, especially when we feel slighted or our comfort zones are threatened. All of us have been bombarded with the violence we see around us, although most of us have not experienced it firsthand, the negativity of the news we can’t seem to escape. Most of what we encounter daily is not steady. Every day we see changes at home, in our work place, in political strategies, technology, even our social customs. Many feel we are at a crossroads, when it comes to our relationships with others who share this earth with us and our responsibility to sustain this life, giving universe and planet God gave to All His creatures. Merton spent much time in prayerful meditation, being grounded in God’s Love. He was also one of the great social activists of the 20th century.

This coming week we remember Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King like Merton, was grounded in God’s Love through prayer. “King spoke of prayer as the sacred heart of faith, as the foundation of devotional life, as an essential component of prophetic social witness, and as a vital ingredient in the overall effort to free, humanize, and empower humanity.” Nonviolence, humility, and prayer affirmed King’s quest for peace and justice. What lessons can I learn from the humility of these two men?

Living Christ,

I’m so grateful for Martin Luther King and Thomas Merton who truly did take full responsibility for their world, their lives and really lived a life for God. They inspire us to deepen our own prayer life. It’s too easy to look at the negative when I only look at the surface. Help me to remember you work beneath the surface even in the most hopeless looking situations. Teach me to see the wonderful possibilities inside all things. Teach me to deepen my sense of belonging in your creation, to be an instrument of change and peace for your world. Amen

Lois Autterson

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