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Merton’s Voice: It is into this abyss of blazing light, so infinitely bright as to be pure darkness to our intelligence, that the mystic enters not only with his eyes, his imagination, and his mind, but with his whole soul and substance, in order to be transformed like a bar of iron in the white heat of a furnace. The iron turns into fire. The mystic is “transformed” in God.

Thomas Merton. The Ascent to Truth. (New York: Harvest/ HBJ Books, 1981) p. 261

Prayer: The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. NRSV Psalm: 146: 8.

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The Holy Longing
by Johann W. Von Goethe

Tell a wise person, or else keep silent,
Because the massman will mock it right away.
I praise what is truly alive,
what longs to be burned to death.

In the calm water of love-nights,
where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
a strange feeling comes over you
when you see the silent candle burning.

Now you are no longer caught
in the obsession with darkness,
and a desire for higher love making
sweeps you forward.

Distance does not make you falter
now, arriving in magic, flying,
and finally, insane for the light,
you are the butterfly and you are gone.

And so long as you haven’t experienced
this: to die and so to grow,
you are only a troubled guest
on the dark earth.

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