Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Immersed in the River of God

"But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14, NIV)

"[A] mature contemplative is far more simple than any child or any novice, because theirs is a more or less negative simplicity-the simplicity of those in whom potential complications have not yet had a chance to develop. But in the contemplative, all complexities have begun to straighten themselves out and dissolve into unity and emptiness and interior peace.

The contemplative, nourished by emptiness, endowed by poverty and liberated from all sorrow by simple obedience, drinks fortitude and joy from the will of God in all things.Without any need for complicated reasoning or mental efforts or special acts, the contemplative's life is a prolonged immersion in the rivers of tranquility that flow from God into the whole universe and draw all things back to God.

For God's love is like a river springing up in the depth of the Divine Substance and flowing endlessly through His creation, filling all things with life and goodness and strength.All things, except our own sins, are carried and come to us in the waters of this pure and irresistible stream."

Thomas Merton. New Seeds of Contemplation. New York: New Directions Press, 1961: 266.
Photograph by Thomas Merton.