Thursday, December 24, 2020

exteriorly “all right”


The heart of man  can be full of so much pain, 
even when things are exteriorly “all right”.
 It becomes all the more difficult because today we are used to thinking
 that there are explanations for everything. But there is no explanation 
of most of what goes on in our own hearts, and we cannot account for it all.
 No use resorting to the kind of mental tranquilizers
 that even religious explanations sometimes offer.
 Faith must be deeper than that, rooted in the unknown
 and in the abyss of darkness that is the ground of our being. 
No use teasing the darkness to try to make answers grow out of it. 
But if we learn how to have a deep inner patience, 
things solve themselves, or God solves them if you prefer:
 but do not expect to see how. Just learn to wait,
 and do what you can and help other people. 
Often it is in helping someone else 
we find the best way to bear our own trouble.

-- Thomas Merton
from his Christmas letter, 1966
art by Picasso