Copernicus was a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a heliocentric model of the universe which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center. Wikipedia

The activity of the Spirit within becomes more and more important as we progress in the life of interior prayer…more and more our efforts attain a new orientation: instead of being directed towards ends we have chosen for ourselves …they are more and more moved  to an obedient and cooperative submission to grace’

Thomas Merton, Contemplative prayer


Here Merton emphasises the activity of the Spirit within. The kingdom of God is here, now and within is scripture’s echo.  He then introduces the word ‘progress’ – is this threatening or hopeful? Relationship with Jesus is meant to develop and this may necessitate change.  ‘Ends we have chosen for ourselves’ – a deep swallow here – giving way to an obedient and cooperative submission to grace.  And here we arrive at our new orientation, as Copernicus did.  Jesus words ‘I came so that everyone would have life’ together with his empty cross a constant reminder of the purpose of Lent and of God.


Obedience and cooperation can evoke a leaden or dampening sensation, some heavy weighty demand.  Around what am I orientated?


This article is copied, with permission, from the website of the Coracle Trust for whom Andrew Hook works part time. 

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