Beyond Books and Sermons
by Thomas Merton
THE MESSAGE OF HOPE that the contemplative offers you is not that you need to find your way through the jungle of language and problems that today surround God; but that, whether you understand or not, God loves you, is present to you, lives in you, dwells in you, calls you, saves you and offers you an understanding and light which are like nothing you ever found in books or heard in sermons.
The contemplative has nothing to tell you except to reassure you and say that if you dare to penetrate your own silence and dare to advance without fear into the solitude of your own heart, and risk the sharing of that solitude with the lonely other who seeks God through you and with you, then you will truly recover the light and the capacity to understand what is beyond words and beyond explanations because it is too close to be explained.
It is the intimate union in the depths of your own heart, of God's Spirit and your own secret inmost self so that you and he are in all truth One Spirit.
Taken from Thomas Merton's Dark Path by William H. Shannon ((New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1981).