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13 September 2006 @ 08:45 am
Thomas Merton - Hope and Spiritual Poverty  
If we know how great is the love of Jesus for us we will never be afraid to go to Him in all our poverty, all our weakness, all our spiritual wretchedness and infirmity. Indeed, when we understand the true nature of His love for us, we will prefer to come to Him poor and helpless. We will never be ashamed of our distress. Distress is to our advantage when we have nothing to seek but mercy. We can be glad of our helplessness when we really believe that His power is made perfect in our infirmity.

The surest sign that we have received a spiritual understanding of God’s love for us is the appreciation of our own poverty in light of His infinite mercy.


We must love our own poverty as Jesus loves it. It is so valuable to Him that He died on the Cross to present our poverty to His Father, and endow us with the riches of His own infinite mercy.

We must love our own poverty as Jesus loves it. We must see them with the eyes of His own compassion. But we cannot have true compassion on others unless we are willing to accept pity and receive forgiveness for our own sins.

We do not really know how to forgive until we know what it is to be forgiven. Therefore we should be glad that we can be forgiven by our brothers. It is our forgiveness of one another that makes the love of Jesus for us manifest in our lives, for in forgiving one another we act towards one another as He has acted towards us.

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My Lord, I have no hope but in Your Cross. You, by Your humility, and sufferings and death, have delivered me from all vain hope. You have killed the vanity of the present life in Yourself, and have given me all that is eternal in rising from the dead.

Why should I want to be rich, when You were poor? Why should I desire to be famous and powerful in the eyes of men, when the sons of those who exalted the false prophets and stoned the true rejected You and nailed You to the Cross? Why should I cherish in my heart a hope that devours me – the hope for perfect happiness in this life – when such hope, doomed to frustration, is nothing but despair?

My hope is in what the eye has never seen. Therefore, let me not trust in visible rewards. My hope is in what the heart cannot feel. Therefore let me not trust in the feelings of my heart. My hope is in what the hand of man has never touched. Do not let me trust what I can grasp between my fingers. Death will loosen my grasp and my vain hope will be gone.

Let my trust be in Your mercy, not in myself. Let my hope be in Your love, not in health, or strength, or ability or human resources.

If I trust You, everything else will become, for me, strength, health, and support. Everything will bring me to heaven. If I do not trust you, everything will be my destruction.
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on September 18th, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
Well said
Shall we rest in those paragraphs for awhile?

God and his character, action and support as Father, Christ, and Holy Spirit is enough.