Humility makes joy possible

Word Press provides a helpful search engine. For example, in the upper right of this page (to the right of the date), you’ll see a little box. You can type “Thomas Merton,” and it will show you the titles of all blog entries that mention Merton (1915-1968). This is number eleven.

Sometimes, when I need to center myself or ground myself, I turn to Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation. In those 39 short chapters on various themes, I always find something helpful. Last night, I was encouraged by a visit to chapter 25, about “Humility.” Merton wrote:

It is almost impossible to overestimate the value of true humility and its power in the spiritual life. … Humility contains in itself the answer to all the great problems of the life of the soul. It is the only key to faith, with which the spiritual life begins: for faith and humility are inseparable. …

If we were incapable of humility we would be incapable of joy, because humility alone can destroy the self-centeredness that makes joy impossible.

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