Thomas Merton is one of the best known and influential Christian/Catholic authors of the twentieth-century. The Seven Storey Mountain is his autobiography. The book relays the story of the author's religious conversion and eventual entrance into a Trappist monastery in Kentucky. Along the way there are enlightening reflections about society, history and faith. The work has rightly earned its place as a classic. A particular scene struck me most profoundly. (WARNING: book detail spoiler ahead!)
After entering the monastery, Merton's brother simultaneously begins service in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII. One day Merton is called to the Abbot's office and he knows intuitively that it is news about his brother. He passes a pieta (statue of Mary holding the dead body of Jesus) and amongst all his anxiety he states, " buried my will and my natural affections and all the rest in the wounded side of the dead Christ." He then receives the news that his brother was killed in action.
That image blew me away - so graphic and intense. How many times do I need to bury my will and natural affections in the wound of Christ? How many times do I need to bury all my failures and fears in that all consuming wound? How many times does the world need to bury all its suffering in the wound of the slain Savior to be finally healed in resurrection? And the wound remains open, ready to receive all that pain - lovingly and longingly.
>>> And the wound remains open, ready to receive all that pain - lovingly and longingly.
Isn't God amazing? That he cares for us so deeply. And we so don't deserve it. Yet He gives and gives and gives.