A Glorious Destiny by Thomas Merton

It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race,
though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities
and one which makes many terrible mistakes:
yet, with all that, God Himself 
gloried in becoming a member of the human race.

A member of the human race!

To think such a commonplace realization should suddenly seem
like news that one holds the winning ticket in a cosmic sweepstakes.

I have the immense joy of being 
a member of a race in which God 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.

It was if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts,
the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor self-knowledge can reach,
the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes.
If only they could see themselves as they really are.
If only we could see each other that way all the time.

There would be 
no more war, 
no more hatred,
no more cruelty,
no more greed. 

— Thomas Merton

[Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk and Mystic, died on this day in 1968.]

[SOURCE: Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours edited by Kathleen Deignan.  Notre Dame, IN: Sorin Books, 2007]

[PHOTO:  Stained glass panel in the transept of St. John’s Anglican Church, Ashfield, New South Wales (NSW).  Photo by Toby Hudson courtesy of Wikkimedia Commons.  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.]



About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
This entry was posted in Songs and Poetry, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

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