Love Is The Reason For My Existence: Thomas Merton


To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that Love is the reason for my existence, for God is Love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.

If therefore I do anything, or think anything or say anything or know anything that is not purely for the love of God, it cannot give me peace, or rest, or fulfilment or joy.

To find love I must enter into the sanctuary where it is hidden which is the mystery of God.

Thomas Merton: Book of Hours.

These few words are so deep, containing so much of the answer to the question, “Who are we and why are we here”, that it would be difficult to me to think of any other piece that defined it so beautifully. It also pertains to what we may do whilst here in physical existence. Love is my name…that is powerful. That is a real opportunity for me to live every moment to honour that name.

In some African societies, the naming ceremony of a baby holds tremendous importance. If a person commits a crime or behaves badly, in a way that either damages or shames the group, they have a very interesting way of dealing with it. The members of the community sit around the individual and whilst embracing him/her, sing our his name. They sing the name and call his name because they feel that he/she must have forgotten his name and thus acted against it. So they call and sing his name to remind him that he may come back into his true being.

Love is my true name. Love is my reason for existence. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true nature. And that holds true for each of us. Each single individual human being on this Earth shares that with us. We surely then, have a responsibility, not just of ourselves, but to each and every other sister and brother created by God, who is also Love, in His own image. And by the act of God who created us all; we surely should not define any human being as divided from us because of difference such as colour or creed or indeed nationality. It is in our weakness that the  organs of state and nationhood encourage our division as people and that lead us to believe we are different and have something to fear of each other…by the very act of seeing another as other and difference wherein lies our most potent fears.  Seeing things in this way, we can be subjected to control and domination by those who profess to be “protecting us”. We see acts of this type  being carried out “in our names” in our world today and the ruthless obliteration of ‘others’ in the name of ‘freedom and our values’. But my true name is Love, my true nature is selflessness. My true identity is Love. I and they are made in the image of Love by the same creator Father. So this way of thinking is insane…unless we forget. We are divided and dominated by those who have very obviously forgotten their true name and true identity.

The child in Afghanistan, the woman in Iraq, the desert dweller in Algeria, the high-flying banker in New York, the taxi driver in Libya, the government minister in Syria, the water gatherer in Palestine, the soldier in Israel, the street child in Brazil, all these are my Fathers children, my brothers and sisters in truth, being created by him knowingly, deliberately and they are Love as I am.

I cannot solve all the problems of the world which we have jointly allowed in our forgetfulness. But my contribution to the solving of these issues can be that I do individually remember who I am and marvel at my being created at all, an act before which there was no  conscious I. Because of this gift of creation, there is now an I which has strived to become ever more conscious and an I, which, forever resting in my Father at its core level of existence has a name, an identity and a nature for which the conscious I is responsible too, in my thoughts and my words and my deeds. I have the responsibility to consciously be true to this, to make sure that within me…there is no division in integrity between who I am.

If therefore I do anything, or think anything or say anything or know anything that is not purely for the love of God, it cannot give me peace, or rest, or fulfilment or joy.

So be it. Amen.

The photograph below was taken two days ago very local to where I live. I give thanks and am blessed to be able to live in the stunningly beautiful Highlands of Scotland.

Another one

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7 thoughts on “Love Is The Reason For My Existence: Thomas Merton

  1. Thomas Merton has been a source of on-going inspiration to me for a contemplative life in the midst of life’s challenges – thank you for putting your focus on him! In Lak’ech’ – Tomas

  2. […] Reblogged from livinginthemonasterywithoutwallsdotcom: […]

  3. Reblogged this on heartflow2013 and commented:
    Beautiful Thomas Merton words and very insightful expansion on those words by Stephanie Jill Rudd of the beautiful and inspiring blog: living in the monastery without walls

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