Thomas Merton, in his spiritual autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, makes a passing remark about his own selfishness as a child that is deeply profound:
“Since no man ever can, or could, live by himself and for himself alone, the destinies of thousands of other people were bound to be affected, some remotely, but some very directly and near-at-hand, by my own choices and decisions and desires, as my own life would also be formed and modified according to theirs.”
I love how starkly Merton declares it: “since no man ever can, or could, live by himself and for himself alone.” Of course many of us (men and women alike) certainly try. We believe the lies of the adversary that we can do it on our own. And the gracious Father lets us try, always to our demise.
But here Merton reminds us that we are, indeed, connected. That we are, indeed, created to live together, not alone. That in some special, God-given way, we are part of one another, need one another and are better together.
So today, if we’re tempted to go it alone, let us remember that we are not created to do so. We have been created for it and subsequently invited into a life lived in community by a God who desires our flourishing and has given us one another as his primary means of achieving it.
Grace and Peace,