Saturday, June 13, 2020

I, myself am distraction


Suppose that my “poverty” be a hunger for spiritual riches: 
suppose that by pretending to empty myself, pretending to be silent, 
I am really trying to cajole God into enriching me with some experience 
— what then?

Then everything becomes a distraction. 
All created things interfere with my quest for some special experience. 
I must shut them out, or they will tear me apart.

What is worst — I, myself am distraction. 
But, unhappiest of all — if my prayer is centered in myself, 
if it seeks only an enrichment of my own self, 
my prayer will be my greatest potential distraction.

Full of my own curiosity, 
I have eaten of the tree of Knowledge and 
torn myself away from myself and God.

I am left rich and alone and nothing can assuage my hunger: 
everything I touch turns into distraction.

~ Thomas Merton
from Thoughts In Solitude
sketch by the author