Saturday, January 31, 2009


The lovely Carol is gone for the weekend -- a women's retreat. So when I woke up this morning, her warm, soft, sleeping form was not there. Instead, my hand bumped into my copy of Merton's No Man Is an Island, which was a gift from the elder teen. The back cover jacket was inserted between pages 132-133, where I found this: "Our vocation is not a supernatural lottery but the intersection of two freedoms, and, therefore, of two loves." (p.132)

What were these two, I wondered -- I turned to p.131, which was the beginning of chapter 8:
Each one of us has some kind of vocation. We are all called by God to share in His life and in His Kingdom. Each one of us is called to a special place in the Kingdom. If we find that place we will be happy. If we do not find it, we can never be completely happy. For each one of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God's will, to be what God wants us to be.
I thought this aptly put; "coincidentally" I recently posted this connecting God with our happiness. Both Time Magazine and I apparently came to conclude what Merton had written, better, a half century earlier.

Merton also gives us this bit of good news, in the next paragraph:
We must not imagine that we only discover this destiny by a game of hide-and-seek with Divine Providence. Our vocation is not a sphinx's riddle, which we must solve in one guess or else perish. Some people find, in the end, that they have made many wrong guesses and that their paradoxical vocation is to go through life guessing wrong. It takes them a long time to find out that they are happier that way.
He's hilarious, too. And that is absolutely right -- as Gordon Smith said, we shouldn't (even at 80 or 90) think we know what we're going to do with "the rest of my life"; rather, we can only get a hint of what we're going to do "in the next stage or phase of my life."

What I'm going to do is make breakfast.

No comments: