Merton wrote in September 1949:
‘And yet it seems that writing, far from being an obstacle to spiritual perfection in my own life, has become one of the conditions on which my perfection will depend. […] If I am to be a saint, I have not only to be a monk, which is what all monks must do to become a saint, but i must also put down on paper what i have become. It may sound easy, but it is not an easy vocation.
To be good a monk as I can be, and to remain myself, and to write about it: to put myself down on paper, in such situations, with the most complete simplicity and integrity, masking nothing, confusing no issue: this is very hard because I am all mixed up in illusions and attachments. These, too, have to be put down. But without exaggeration, repitition, useles emphasis. To be frank without being boring: it is a kind of crucifixion. Not a very dramatic or painful one. But it requires much honesty that is beyond my nature. It must somehow come from the Holy Spirit.
A complete and holy transparency: living, praying, and writing in the light of the Holy Spirit, losing myself entirely by becoming public property just as Jesus is public property in the Mass. Perhaps this is an important aspect of my priesthood- my living of my Mass: to become as plain as a Host in the hands of everybody. Perhaps it is this, after all, that is to be my way to solitude. One of the strangest ways so far devised, but it is the way of the Word of God.’
May we each choose this day who we will serve. May we each get better at living without the illusion and attachments which so often drive us to become people we genuinely want not to become. May we each make ourselves as open to the other as Christ is to all. May we love.
Become who you are in Christ. Be with Christ. Become you in Christ. Let Christ become in you.