Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Thoughts on Contemplation/Happiness by Thomas Merton

We live in age in which "true happiness" is perceived in the things we have accumulated over time like T.V.'s, cars, the clothes we wear, who we date or marry or who we have studied under in our educational upbringing or the most obvious is how much money you have or make. While all of this is important to a certain extant. The question must be asked is who puts this extra pressure on us? Is it the media, parents or other external things we come in contact with throughout our life time? If we are completely honest with ourselves we could put the blame on any of the above reasons. In 1966 Thomas Merton wrote in Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander that I believe really speaks to the heart of the issue by saying:
“Why can we not be content with the secret gift of the happiness that God offers us, without consulting the rest of the world? Why do we insist, rather, on a happiness that is approved by the magazines and TV? Perhaps because we do not believe in a happiness that is given to us for nothing. We do not think we can be happy with a happiness that has no price tag on it.”(pg.84)
I think Merton could have really been talking about our generation that is so caught up in trying to be happy by buying the newest gadget that is available in the market. How come most Christians get this very simple concept, have we got so caught up in the "prosperity gospel" message? Do many of us not realize we have bought the lie of artificial happiness? Just some thoughts!!! Peace and Grace...

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