Thomas Merton: A Pain Unsheathed


By all means, cry.

Love tormented by pain, both savage and raw, soon becomes greedy for relief.

Even at the cost of death.

But death, we know, holds no real relief.

And in our pain, a key.

One which may well unlock our humanity, our awareness, our oneness.

If we can immerse ourselves, if we can drink deeply, we can emerge with a greater freedom, a strength steadfast, a will aligned.

But we have to trust.

We have to embrace our vulnerability, even to the point of despair.

We have be like children, again.

Not because we can make sense of everything.

But precisely because we can’t.

Still, if we do embrace it all, with an abiding confidence that renewal and recovery and grace all await, we may – eventually – understand.

Numbness and emotional detachment and mental distractions are not points along the way. They are phony detours, leading us on a path that only records the mile markers away from our true selves.

Thomas Merton pointedly spoke to our pains, and to our freedom:

Christianity is not stoicism. The Cross does not sanctify us by destroying human feeling. Detachment is not insensibility.

Too many ascetics fail to become great saints precisely because their rules and ascetic practices have merely deadened their humanity instead of setting it free to develop richly, in all its capacities, under the influence of grace ― Thomas Merton, Thoughts In Solitude

Reject the false and easy death of rawness and despair.

Feel it all. Embrace humanity.

Seek freedom. Trust.

And by all means,


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