Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Merton on the Spiritual Life

This is one of the best descriptions of the spiritual life I've come across.

I consider that the spiritual life is the life of man's real self, the life of that interior self whose flame is so often allowed to be smothered under the ashes of anxiety and futile concern. The spiritual life is oriented toward God, rather than toward the immediate satisfaction of the material needs of life, but it is not, for all that, a life of unreality or a life of dreams. On the contrary, without a life of the spirit, our whole existence becomes unsubstantial and illusory. The life of the spirit, by integrating us in the real order established by God, puts us in the fullest possible contact with reality - not as we imagine it, but as it really is. It does so by making us aware of our real selves, and placing them in the presence of God. 
The point that hit home for me are the flame that is smothered by anxiety and futile concern and the intrgration into the real order established by God. Those who are not seeking to do that will have an unsubstantial and illusory existence. And, that could be an eternal condition....