Yes, I’ve just finished a tremendously consoling retreat, after a very consoling Chapter of Elections. Life is good!
I thought in my first post after retreat, I’d share with you an image that my retreat director, Sr. P., mentioned to me during one of our sessions. I looked up this quote from Thomas Merton’s “Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander” and thought I’d offer it as a starting point for any sharing we might want to do with each other.
At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will. This little point of nothingness and of absolute poverty is the pure glory of God in us. It is, so to speak, God’s name written in us…It is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven. It is in everybody, and if we could see it we would see these billions of points of light coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would make all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely.
So, for me, this image is so powerful, because for me, practices such as daily prayer, annual retreat, faith sharing with others on the journey, etc, are about tending to this spark in the deepest and truest place in me. In the stresses and anxieties of everyday living, it is so easy to lose touch with this source of joy without consciously paying attention. What is hopeful to me is that many people I know have tasted this deep communion with God and do the best they can to be faithful to nurturing that spark of life in themselves and others.
I wonder what the world would be like if everyone found and tended that “virgin point” in their souls and recognized it in the others with whom they share life?