By Melodious Monk
“The worst temptation, and that to which many monks succumb early in their lives, and by which they remain defeated, is simply to give up asking and seeking. To leave everything to the superiors in this life, and to God in the next—a hope which may in fact be nothing but a veiled despair, a refusal to live.”
This past week I’ve been mulling over this quote from Thomas Merton. I’ve often thought of Jesus’ well-known direction, to “ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you,” as a loving invitation more then a command to stay living in Christ. It’s certainly both, but I don’t regularly think of “asking and seeking” as a very active way to fight daily temptation. Seeking truth can be a challenge, causing turmoil internally that feels safer to avoid. Merton is right in his challenge to us. When we stop the active life-giving task of seeking and asking God to show us his face in all that confronts us each day, we are the poorer for it. In doing so, we risk not being able to see all the doors that God would like to open for us.