Following up my flossing the “God hates you” husk from between my teeth…I rinsed with Merton:
The human being down here in the darkness of his fleshly state is as mysterious as the saints in heaven in the light of their glory. There are in him inexhaustible treasures, constellations without end of sweetness and beauty which ask to be recognized and which usually escape completely the futility of our regard. Love brings a remedy for that. One must vanquish this futility and undertake seriously to recognize the innumerable universes that one’s fellow being carries within him. This is the business of contemplative love and the sweetness of its regard…
Yes, we are all of us Shreks. We have layers.
What a contrast in how we view people. Reminds me of Paul’s confidence in the community of believers in Rome most of whom he had never met: “I am confident that you are full of goodness.”
We all have our bad days when we hate people in general and go sour on humanity, chanting with David, “All men are liars” and with our brother, “God hates you.” And yes, there are liars, and yes, evidently, God gets really ticked off at us at times – perhaps as often as we get ticked off at him. But still we speak in haste, as David acknowledged after the fact.
We miss the larger view of the Good News that God makes lovers out of his enemies by dying for them. God is in the friending business, and he’s fairly extreme about it. The Divine really doesn’t like blocking or unfriending us.
I think I’d rather spend a month with a Merton than a day with a Jansenite.
Just saying. Funny that way.
And it’s a Merton I will seek out every time when my own insecurities and imperfections are staring me
in the face.