Wednesday, July 24, 2019


Traditionally, the value of the symbol is precisely in its apparent uselessness
 as a means of simple communication.  It is ordered toward communion,
 not to communication. Because it is not an efficient mode of communicating
 information, the symbol can achieve a higher purpose, beyond 
cause and effect. Instead of establishing a new contact by a meeting of minds
 in the sharing of news, the symbol tells nothing new:
 it revives our awareness of what we already know,
 and deepens our awareness. What is "new" in the symbol is the ever new
 discovery of a new depth and a new actuality in what is and always has been.
.The function of the symbol is to manifest a union that already exists
 but is not fully realized.  The symbol awakens awareness or restores it.  
Therefore it does not aim at communication but at communion. 
 Communion is the awareness of participation in an ontological reality: 
in the mystery of being, of human love, of redemptive mystery, 
of contemplative truth,

~ Thomas Merton 
from Merton's Palace of Nowhere 
by James Finley