Friday, January 22, 2016

Le Point Vierge Où l'on Rencontre Dieu

Monroe County

Yes, I did study French. I had to pass reading exams in philosophical French and philosophical German for my doctoral program in philosophical theology . I bought a couple of books and taught myself to read these languages. Now years have gone by and if you don't use it you lose it. But I still recognize some things, like this:

Le point vierge où l'on rencontre Dieu.

Which means:

The virgin point of the spirit where one meets God, and which is the glory of God in us.

This is how Thomas Merton referred to the inner sanctuary of the heart where the God encounter takes place. This is a "still point of presence" around which Merton's life circled.

Kathleen Deignan writes that Merton "labored to name this mysterious center of being, 'a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will." (Merton, A Book of Hours, 30)

I have dwelt in this place for many years. Even this morning. Right now. This is where the Father comes to make his home in me. (See here.)