Personality–liberty–is a treasure which is given to be increased and developed by union with the Divine Person of the Incarnate Word, Jesus, our Model and Savior. Our Personality is a faint reflection of the Person of the Word, the natural Image of the Father. (Thomas Merton: The Life of the Vows: Initiation into the Monastic Tradition 6, p.15).
These words of St. Thomas Merton (A Saint included in the Episcopal Churches’ calendar) are from a book I am reading as part of my formation. These words tell us to treasure our personality and our liberty by giving it over to be developed by seeking union with God through Jesus Christ. What a stark contrast to how we think of our personality and liberty.
We live in a world and age where private ownership of everything including our bodies, personalities and liberties are all up for us to grab onto. Why contemplate that there is more beyond ourselves, when we make ourselves our own end?
The picture above gives us a very different perspective. The mountains with their snow caps, the grass, trees, sky seem as if they are all to themselves. The reflection in the waters below shows the contrary. The reflection is faint, but it reveals that the scene is not unto itself. It shares all that it is and can be with the very waters that will flow past it; taking all the goodness of God with it. It will bring light to darkness, hope to despair and life from death. It will project the reflection of the Creator and Redeemer with all that is still veiled as the result of the faint reflection. It will still make a notable difference where it may seem that change is impossible.
Today, may we not dwell so much on how imperfect of a reflection we are of Jesus and His Father. Instead, may we take hold of the reflection God is making through us that may only be passing us by to impact our own lives and those of others for the brief moment of the contemplative vision.
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB