January 1999 – Thomas Merton: Queenswood House of Studies

Every “yes” we can offer builds strength for the next “yes” that is required.

The spiritual journey is towards being able to tell the difference between that inner voice that creates urgency based on “neurotic needs” and that voice that leads to a sense of serenity.

Our greatest woundedness is our greatest gift.

The body often reacts when we are not in touch with our own truth.

Wholeness is the acceptance of the conflict within us between the human and the divine. We need to be able to laugh and love ourselves in the sight of God.

We are not entering into warfare, attempting to vanquish the darkness. Instead we are working towards acceptance.

29-31 October 1999 –
The All Saints Triduum Fall Diocese of BC Retreat Queenswood

We are a religion of the passage from death to life.

Through death we come to the place where we are able to live without flinching. We no longer need self-protection. We do not depend upon locks and insurance. We move beyond fear.

Perfect love casts out fear. (I John 4:18)

We are practicing dying to our smaller self into our larger self. This moves us beyond duty. We let go of the things in ourselves that are all ready to die.

Meditation is the process of dying to self. In mediation we embrace our own mortality and resurrection.

There is something beyond the ego. There is something beyond our own consciousness.

Everything we fear is something helpless that needs our love.

Within us there is a lower and a higher. There is a sense of twoness. There is something that strives for truth and something which blocks that striving for truth: fear, habit, duty, self-loathing, contrary passions.

There is something within us that wants to die.

We will never realize integration by destroying one half. Integration is the softer and gentler way. We need to declare amnesty in the spiritual warfare department. Invite and embrace the “bad guy”.

If we don’t embrace our dragons we will be in flight and become brittle. Those things we cannot love in ourselves we put onto others.

Somewhere deep within we know oneness. We know that we are loved by God.

Look at the places where your buttons are getting pushed.

Whenever we do meditation we are entering into the crucifixion of Christ.

We find God in the act of consent, not necessarily in the silence.

The act of surrender in mediation is the important act. “Surrender” means to hand over. It is not the same as knuckling under.


from “Living Presence” transcript

I believe that even in our personal junkyard – with all of its unfulfilled perceptions, lusts, miseries, cravings and original woundedness – there is also a very real pearl of true perception and true redemption. The real quality of our being is somehow contained in that stuff too.

that all these practices that we work on have to always be “done” within the spirit of helping us to more promptly yield and more promptly consent and more promptly open in all situations of our life. I’m talking about inwardly, at this point. I’m not talking about “you have to roll over and play dead” in every circumstance in life because there are some times when clear action is required and firm action, but it’s having an inner softness and openness and unattachment to the outcome.