Glimmered with the Grace of God

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In 2011, I cited this from Thomas Merton:

Thomas Merton used to travel from the monastery to the city of Louisville when he was a young monk.  At first everything of the world seemed repulsive.  But in prayer he learned to see.  Later, when he went to town, he was astounded at how beautiful everything was.  He stood on a street corner one day and it was as though the entire city glimmered with the grace of God.  “How do you tell people,” he asked himself, “that they are walking around shining like the sun!”

I remain fascinated by it and am reminded of the wonderful J.D. Salinger quote about “fat lady” which I shared way back in 2009:

But I’ll tell you a terrible secret — Are you listening to me? There isn’t anyone out there who isn’t Seymour’s Fat Lady. That includes your Professor Tupper, buddy. And all his goddam cousins by the dozens. There isn’t anyone anywhere that isn’t Seymour’s Fat Lady. Don’t you know that? Don’t you know that goddam secret yet? And don’t you know — listen to me, now — don’t you know who that Fat Lady really is? . . . Ah, buddy. Ah, buddy. It’s Christ Himself. Christ Himself, buddy.

Hell is not other people. Other people, if you are open to them, can lead you to God.

[Source for Merton: John Michael Talbot, The World Is My Cloister, quoted in Leach & Goodnough, eds, A Maryknoll Book of Inspiration.  Source for J.D. Salinger: Franny & Zooey]

On Thy Wondrous Works I Will Meditate

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Mary Oliver’s On Thy Wondrous Works I Will Meditate is her reading of Psalm 145.  Mary Oliver — need I say more?

This is the 8th, and final, section.

Every morning I want to kneel down on the golden
cloth of the sand and say
some kind of musical thanks for
the world that is happening again—another day—
from the shawl of wind coming out of the
west to the firm green

flesh of the melon lately sliced open and
eaten, its chill and ample body
flavored with mercy. I want
to be worthy—of what? Glory? Yes, unimaginable glory.
O Lord of melons, of mercy, though I am
not ready, nor worthy, I am climbing toward you.

You can read the entire poem here.

Tony de Mello on Happiness

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I came across this quote from Tony de Mello… and I like it, although I’m not completely sure he’s right about life being easy!

“Happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of little children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture.

To acquire happiness you don’t have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does anybody know why? Because we have it already. How can you acquire what you already have? Then why don’t you experience it? Because you’ve got to drop something. You’ve got to drop illusions. You don’t have to add anything in order to be happy; you’ve got to drop something.

Life is easy, life is delightful. It’s only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings. Do you know where these things come from? From having identified with all kinds of labels!”

[Image by courtesy of Thinking Faith – a British Jesuit journal of opinion.]