Thursday, November 5, 2009

a Heavenly perspective . . .

People who only engage life intellectually live a very shallow existence, for the deeper things of life are only discovered, truly only discovered, when the heart and soul are opened to God's voice. Anon E. Moose

Thomas Merton on a heavenly perspective in battles with cancer and other struggles in this world. God uses them to purify our souls, if we will let Him. From The Imitation of Christ concerning the illness and eventual death of his earthly father:

“Of us all, Father was the only one who really had any kind of a faith. And I do not doubt that he had very much of it, and that behind the walls of his isolation, his intelligence and his will, unimpaired, and not hampered in any essential way by the partial obstruction of some of his senses, were turned to God, and communed with God Who was with him and in him, and Who gave him, as I believe, light to understand and to make use of his sufferings for his own good, and to perfect his soul. It was a great soul, large, full of natural charity. He was a man of exceptional intellectual honesty and sincerity and purity of understanding. And this affliction, this terrible and frightening illness which was relentlessly pressing him down even into the jaws of the tomb, was not destroying him after all.

Souls are like athletes that need opponents worthy of them, if they are to be tried and extended and pushed to the full use of their powers, and rewarded according to their capacity. And my father was in a fight with this [cancer], and none of us understood the battle. We thought he was done for, but it was making him great. . . and his struggle was authentic, and not wasted or lost or thrown away.”

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