My Life Is A Listening

In a chapter wherein he describes the value and benefits of inner silence, Thomas Merton, in his meditative Thoughts in Solitude, speaks of his underlying goal to become truly quiet so that he might hear, not the continual clatter and chiding of the mind’s ceaseless needling, but rather, the guidance of God. To get to this inner place, he invokes a renewed view of his life.

“My life is a listening,” he reveals, “His is a speaking.”Thomas Merton

According to this invocation, Merton is able to dispel the constant inner nagging that plagues the soul and drives the body to weariness, thereafter finding himself standing free within the heart of God, ready to see and live Truth.

For my part, I, too, have discovered that not one thought I offer truly serves. To think one thing, according to my mental addiction of thence generating impression after impression after impression, attempting to solve some convoluted problem that likely does not even exist, is to elicit its opposite. Then there is but inner conflict that goes unresolved, producing nothing beyond inner turmoil.

The only thing worth seeking is peace. Not fulfillment. Not satisfaction. Neither thrill nor dullardness offers peace. The only way to peace is love. Love, as corroborated in Merton’s essay, in fact, in his experience, is found in silence.

My thoughts, however, do not know love. They are mine. Being mine, these thoughts are separated from God’s thoughts. Being mine, they lead only away from God and into fear, the only thing that seems to exist divorced from God. Thus, the move away from God brings only emptiness, only heartache. I may attempt to cover it over with thrill or dullardness. But never does this invoke peace.

So, perhaps it is best I do not think. Rather, I might vow to seek and master silence. Perhaps then my life, too, will become a listening. Listening, that is, to God’s thoughts, which are never heard amidst my own convolved imaginings.

God is peace. God is love. To know God is to know sweet silence.

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~ by a.b.johnson on 02/07/2012.

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