Thomas Merton writes, “What every man looks for in life is his own salvation and the salvation of the men he lives with. By salvation, I mean first of all the full discovery of who he himself really is. Then I mean something of the fulfillment of his own God-given powers, in the love of others and of God. I mean also the discovery that he cannot find himself in himself alone, but that he must find himself in and through others.”
When we read The Universal Christ, we must also read the Divine Dance. One can not separate the two works of Richard Rohr. The two bring into a perspective what Merton talks about extensively in his New Seeds of Contemplation….
We come to experience that God is in contemplation, and our journey is our life in it and with others. it is that moment then when we come to understand John 17:23 “I in them and Father, You in me, that they may be made perfect in One…and the glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be One as we are One’ and ‘In this shall everyone know you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.”
The contemplative path is a call to action, which brings about our awareness of conscious harmony with the universe.
“My worship is a blue sky and ten thousand crickets in the deep wet grass of the field. My vow is the silence under their sound. I support the woodpecker and the dove. Together we learn the norms. The plowed and planted field says: It is my turn. And several of us begin to sing.” ~ Merton
Social justice, contemplation, action, the ecology of our plant, we come to realize are one seamless garment. We should acknowledge that our inner and outer worlds need to merge….I reflected while feeding the birds the morning, the teachings of the Greek Patristic Fathers and the practice of theoria physica …That see and experience God as Rohr writes ‘in every thing‘…God in creation.
The struggle is our societal ability to understand nature and theologically the universe as being one with God; God in creation is our struggle. It belongs to us as humans.
As Merton wrote: “The important thing in contemplation is not gratification and rest, but awareness, life, creativity, and freedom…it is a flash of lightning of divinity piercing the darkness of nothingness…”
The ‘darkness of nothingness is in us.