Lately I’ve been very troubled. I dare say, I’ve been depressed with all the bad news that surrounds us. I’ve been consumed by the myriad troubles of the world because I care too deeply. Today I got a message from the Merton Foundation that resonates for me. I hope it does for you too.
What is wanted now is not simply the Christian who takes an inner complacency in the words and example of Christ, but who seeks to follow Christ perfectly, not only in his own personal life, not only in prayer and penance, but also in his political commitments and in all social responsibilities.
We have certainly no need for a pseudo-contemplative spirituality that claims to ignore the world and its problems entirely, and devotes itself supposedly to the things of God, without concern for human society. All true Christian spirituality, even that of the Christian contemplative, is and must always be deeply concerned with man, since “God became man in order that man might become God” (St. Irenaeus). The Christian spirit is one of compassion, of responsibility and of commitment. It cannot be indifferent to suffering, to injustice, error, and untruth.
Thomas Merton. Peace in the Post-Christian Era. Edited by Patricia A. Burton (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004): 135.
I need balance and was thinking of giving all this up. I may yet. I’ve not felt the urge to write or better yet to write well. I’ve felt very down, but Merton has given me hope and shown me that it is quite normal and desirable to see a world where you and I are called to action. Maybe that action is just a prayer now and then.