For the past week, as my friend Rita Warren has been slowly dying, I have been occupying my mind partly by going through old journals, continuing a task I set myself of finding and indexing all the quotations I have noted in 41 years of journal-keeping. Among them I find this one, to which, despite diverging terminologies and concepts, I have resonated for all the 19 years since I came across it. It seems particularly appropriate to days and nights spent in the near presence of death and life as we experience them, inextricably mixed.
“The spiritual life is to be earnestly pursued as though no spiritual life existed. This is the only safe and sane way to travel in the deep waters of the Spirit. Indeed, such childlike simplicity in the face of God expresses a realization that there is, in fact, no spiritual life as such separate from life itself. There is only one life, and that is God’s life which he gives to us from moment to moment, drawing us to himself with every holy breath we take.”
Thomas Merton, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere, p 21.