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  • 14

The hope for results

image@merton.org

image@merton.org

After a long time of soul-searching and questioning of my role in the Lord’s vineyard, I shared my frustration at not ever feeling as though I do any good because of the secular world we live in today. As always, I received and answer to my calling out a little while afterwards. This time, my questioning was answered through the deep Christian insight and thought woven into the fabric of Thomas Merton’s writing.

‘ Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, essentially apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps, results opposite to what you expect.

As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the  work itself. And there too a great deal has to be gone through, as gradually you struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. The range tends to narrow down but it gets much more real. In the  end it is the reality of personal relationships which saves everything.

The big results are not in your hands or mine, but they suddenly happen and we can share in them; but there is no point in building our lives on this personal satisfaction which may be denied us and when after all is not that important.

All the good that you will do will come, not from you, but from the fact that you have allowed yourself, in the obedience of faith, to be used by God’s love.Think of this more and gradually you will be free from the need to prove yourself, and you can be more open to the power that will work through you without you knowing it.

The real hope than is not in something we can do, but in God, who is making something good out of it, in ways we cannot see.’ 

From:-  Thomas Merton’s ‘Struggle with peacemaking’.

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