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God is Love: From Thoughts in Solitude by the Reverend Thomas Merton (vegetarian), Part 2 of 2

2020-12-29
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We will now continue with the enlightening wisdom of the Reverend Thomas Merton as expressed in his book, “Thoughts in Solitude.” “There is no true spiritual life outside the Love of Christ. We have a spiritual life only because we are loved by Him. The spiritual life consists in receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit and His Charity, because the Sacred Heart of Jesus has willed, in His Love, that we should live by His Spirit — the same Spirit Which proceeds from the Word and from the Father, and Who is Jesus’ Love for the Father. 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.” “All sin is a punishment for the primal sin of not knowing God. That is to say all sin is a punishment for ingratitude.”

“He is Love. Deus Caritas est (God is Love). Our knowledge of God is perfected by gratitude: we are thankful and rejoice in the experience of the truth that He is Love. The Eucharist — the Sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving — is a burning hearth of the knowledge of God, for in the Sacrifice, Jesus, giving thanks to the Father, offers and immolates Himself entirely for His Father’s Glory and to save us from our sins. If we do not ‘know’ Him in His sacrifice, how can it avail for us? ‘The knowledge of God is more than holocausts’ (Hosea 6:6). We do not know Him unless we are grateful, and praise the Father with Him.”

“There is no neutrality between gratitude and ingratitude. Those who are not grateful, soon begin to complain of everything. Those who do not love, hate. In the spiritual life, there is no such thing as an indifference to love or hate.” “To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us — and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His Love, every moment of existence is a Grace, for it brings with it immense Graces from Him. Gratitude therefore, takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the Goodness of God. For the grateful man knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.”

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