Knowing my interest in Thomas Merton, my dear friend, Molly, sent me this book of Lenten reflections, and I have enjoyed reading it each day. I read these thoughts last week, and I loved how Merton’s ideas corresponded to my own current line of thinking regarding my one job:
“True sanctity does not mean living without creatures. It consists in using the goods of life in order to do the will of God. It consists of using God’s creation in such a way that everything we touch and see and use and love gives new glory to God. To be a saint means to pass through the world gathering fruits for heaven from every tree and reaping God’s glory from every field. The saint is one who is in contact with God in every possible way, in every possible direction. He is united to God by the depths of his own being. He sees and touches God in everything and everyone around him. Everywhere he goes, the world rings and resounds (though silently) with the deep harmonies of God’s glory.”
–Thomas Merton, Seasons of Celebration, 137.
I assume that, as a Catholic, Merton is speaking of saints in a different way than I think of them. When I think of saints, I don’t think of a special class of Christians whose virtue elevates them above the rest; instead, I just think of…well, Christians. All of us. At least, that is how Paul refers to us in so many of his letters. And as a Christian, I do long to be “in contact with God in every possible way, in every possible direction.” That is one of the reasons why I try to view all my tasks as ultimately accomplishing one purpose: the glorification of God. Because of this, Merton’s words resonate deeply with me. He reminds me that, in all that I say and do, I should seek to live as God’s saint, a citizen in His kingdom.