Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Cannot find true rest in falsehood



Merton5_webMan's intelligence, however we may misuse it, is far too keen and too sure to rest for long in error. It may embrace a lie and cling to it stubbornly, believing it to be true: but it cannot find true rest in falsehood. The mind that is in love with error wears itself out with anxiety, lest its error be discovered for what it is. But the man who loves truth can already find rest in the acknowledgment of his mis­takes, for that is the beginning of truth.

The first step toward finding God, Who is Truth, is to discover the truth about myself: and if I have been in error, this first step to truth is the discovery of my error. A false and illusory "experience" of what appears to be God's action in the soul may bring with it, for a moment, a kind of interior silence: the silence of a soul that rests in an illusion. But this silence is quickly disturbed by a deep under­ current of unrest and noise. The tension of a soul trying to hold itself in silence, when it has no truth to appease it with a superior silence, is louder than the noise of big cities and more disturbing than the movement of an army.

Thomas Merton
No Man is and Island, p. 233


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