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June 22, 2006

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Thank for reminding me of that wee gem of wisdom...

It's so easy to allow ourselves to be embroiled by the "heat" inside our own heads/hearts and forget that 'Light' is what man lacks... prayful petitioning for that Gift for others is a calming, peaceful way of tackling demons. New heresies of syncretism/indifferentism (encroaching false 'enlightenment' of Buddhist devotional styles) can be countered by combining contemplation with a holy image, as Thomas Merton counseled:

"Merton, the writer, was painfully aware of the limitations of words just as Merton the contemplative gradually came to see the danger that those pursuing contemplative life might lose contact with the actual Christ who, far from residing on Cloud Nine only to be glimpsed with a mystical telescope, participates moment by moment in our world of grime, sweat, fear and suffering.

It may be helpful for us to become more aware that the spiritual life of this noted writer was *NOT* very verbal even though he followed the traditional regimen of reciting the psalms and other prayers in the course of each day.

One aspect of his inner life had to do with icons, those sacred images produced by an ancient tradition of Christian art that many would be inclined to dismiss as primitive."

quoted from an essay by Orthodox based in the Netherlands see:
http://www.incommunion.org/forest-flier/jimsessays/merton-and-byzantine-icons/

*CAPS* = my emphasis

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