Last Sunday, during the festival of Lessons and Carols, as the choir was singing the final anthem, I was suddenly reminded of a piece of writing by Thomas Merton, a monk and writer – a quote very dear to me, so much so it is framed on my office wall. In honor of Christmas, with apologies to Merton, I have altered it slightly:
A paraphrase of Fr. Thomas Merton’s “Revelation at the Corner of 4th and Walnut,” which occurred on 18 March 1958 and was originally recorded in his book, “Confessions of a Guilty Bystander,” (http://www.spiritualtravels.info/articles-2/north-america/kentucky-a-thomas-merton-tour/thomas-mertons-mystical-vision-in-louisville/):
“In the Chapel of the Cross, at the corner of Mannsdale and Gluckstadt Roads, in the center of Madison County, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world, the world of renunciation and supposed holiness … This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud … I have the immense joy of being human, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun!”
God bless you and your family this Christmas Day. May the light of the Christ Child fill our hearts and our world, today and every day.
Keep the Faith,