The cross is the sign of liberation … There is no hope of freedom in myself alone or in simple conformity to what is said and done here.  Freedom means a battle between faith and darkness and a new creation out of darkness.

Thomas Merton

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This is a passage from Thomas Merton’s personal journal written on Passion Sunday, March 15, 1959.

There you have it.  The Cross is our liberation.  Not Karl Marx, or politics, or the President, or public policy, or money, status, wealth, youth, pleasure, etc.  The things of this world are only the things of this world, this fallen world.  Yes, there are goods in this world and we can be thankful for them – but none are The Good.

We cannot find freedom in our mortal self for freedom is found in the essence of our being: in the Spirit.

Life’s journey is in the spirit, for we have intellect but it is wisdom we lack, and in wisdom comes meaning and purpose.

Yes, it is in the lived experience of life, a battle between light and darkness, that we are made to know who we are and how and why we are called into life, purposely and intentionally called into life – divinely so.  Yes, it is in faith and its narrative that we come to translate life’s experiences into wisdom, meaning and purpose.

Those who would dispatch faith, exile it, attack it and usher it out of the public square and the culture, wish for you two things: your illness and control over you.

There is no hope in oneself alone, or in rote conformity to the popular, faithless group. There is, however, life and liberation in the Cross, as Thomas Merton reminded us some 56 years ago.

Shalom.

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