Friday, September 08, 2017
Keep Going Deep
I begin each day with the Psalms, Proverbs, and Thomas Merton.
I began reading Merton in the late 70s.
In 1990 I picked up this book, and read the daily entries for years.
Ten years ago I got this on my Kindle, and read it every day.
Why read Merton? Because few people had a more focused commitment to developing the heart, with the belief that the shape of the heart shapes outward action. (See Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart.)
Jesus went after human hearts. If we want culture to change, focus on changing the inner life.
We see Merton's commitment to this here. He writes:
"I believe that I have the right and the duty to try to go on to a more pure and simple and primitive form of life...
The one thing necessary is a true interior and spiritual life, true growth, on my own, in depth, in a new direction. Whatever new direction God opens up for me. My job is to press forward, to grow interiorly, to pray, to break away from attachments and to defy fears, to grow in faith, which has its own solitude, to seek an entirely new perspective and new dimension in my life. To open up new horizons at any cost. To desire this and let the Holy Spirit take care of the rest."
(A Year with Thomas Merton, Kindle Locations 4489-4497)
That's from today's Merton entry. Add that to my Psalms and Proverbs readings for today, and I am focused on life's most important thing.
Plus, God spoke to me, and said, "Do not be tempted by the shallow waters of relevance. Keep... going... deep."
If you want to go deeper, see my book Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.