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Love is the Spiritual Life – A Reflection

October 27, 2022
A picture from today’s walk in Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge

Love, in fact, is the spiritual life; and without it, all other exercises of the spirit are emptied of content. ~Thomas Merton (The Wisdom of the Desert)

My friend Conor McCourt shared the above quote from Thomas Merton in his newly released, excellent book Whispers from the Sanctuary: A Collection of Mystical Contemplative Reflections. (Whispers from the Sanctuary) Connor invited me to spend some time with this reflection and it was much needed.

There may be a number of reasons that I needed that time for reflection. There is so much divisiveness and vitriol in the headlines and on Social Media (trust me, my diet is incredibly scaled back to help with my sanity) that I have to fight the pull to slip into a dark place… depression stinks! When I look at the amount of trauma Denise and I have experienced these past seven years it is overwhelming. I know from reading his journals that Merton struggled with the world in his day and I can’t even imagine how he would feel today.

Despite all of that, I needed to be reminded what life truly is all about. Jesus summarized the law and the prophets when he commanded that we love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength; and to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Matthew 22:37-39) Love, in fact, is the spiritual life. My dear brother Connor reminded me of that today. Thank you, Conor!

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