“Starting on this journey [a journey in which we recover our own unique reflection of the image and likeness of God] deliberately and with passion, is what it means to become true, whole and holy for all people…” This is so very important to our healing, wholeness, growth, freedom, and our need for authenticity; our need to find that deep inner peace and rest from restlessness.
Patrick Collins (in his essay From Illusions toward Truth in the July issue of the excellent journal, The Way – see yesterday’s post) notes that “Thomas Merton wrote of this with great clarity and beauty”:
“…For me to become a saint means to be myself. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and discovering my True Self…God leaves us free to become whatever we like. We can be ourselves or not, as we please. We are at liberty to be real, or to be unreal. We may be true or false, the choice is ours [the gift of “free will”]. We may wear now one mask and now another, and never, if we so desire, appear with our own face…we are called to share with God in creating our true identity…”
Honesty is the path we are invited to travel. Who we are is never primarily the masks we wear, the deceptions we hold onto about ourselves, the roles we play, nor the roles and persona’s imposed on us by others, nor is our True Self found in the expectations others have of us. Our True Selves are found “in Christ,” in our becoming uniquely Christ-like. The “more,” the truth about us (some would say the “real”) is always primarily located below the surface of our lives, and so Merton can rightly say, “What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.”
Again, Thomas Merton enriches the way we are to think about this journey of becoming: