Some Merton for today:
I have always loved that quote. In the Prologue to No Man Is an Island, Merton expands upon the quote. For a person (like Merton) formed in the classical western Catholic tradition it is a strange place to start. Maybe a topic for another day!?
For me it is about living my identity as God-given – seeing the divine in my life and also in the life of others. Living the part of me that is undefinable, indescribable, the nothingness within me where I meet Being. And, if I am going to be honest, for most of my life I have run away from that part. In a desire to be heard, to be listened to, to be an authority, I have ignored “myself” and tried to define myself away from God. In reality God (and “me”) are completely beyond definition, completely other.
In Merton’s language I have tried to hide behind a “false self” by putting on masks to make myself acceptable to others so that they would listen to me.