“Self-confidence is a precious natural gift, a sign of health. But it is not the same thing as faith. Faith is much deeper, and it must be deep enough to subsist when we are weak, when we are sick, when our self-confidence is gone, when our self-respect is gone. I do not mean that faith only functions when we are otherwise in a state of collapse. But true faith must be able to go on even when everything else is taken away from us. Only a humble man is able to accept faith on these terms, so completely without reservation that he is glad of it in it pure state, and welcomes it happily even when nothing else comes with it, and when everything else is taken away.”
Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation
Accepting faith on terms other than my own has always been a challenge – the ego- stands there waiting for my lack of faith to show its head. Merton explains so candidly the strength of faith when alll is taken from us, when all is forfieted including ego, it is only faith that remains. It is there in the desert of humility – alone that we can stand and hear the heartbeat of our God.