Why We can’t Turn Away From Reality

“The first step in the interior life…is unlearning our wrong ways of seeing, tasting, feeling, and so forth, and acquire a few of the right ones. Renunciation is not an end in itself. It helps us to use things better. It helps us to give them away. If reality revolts us, if we merely turn away from it in disgust, to whom shall we sacrifice it? How shall we consecrate it? How shall we make of it a gift to God and to men?”- Thomas Merton

In my mind, Merton is speaking about the comfort of burying our heads in the sand when we don’t like what we see in the world around us. The problem with this is then nothing can change. When we allow ourselves to feel what upsets us, and see what revolts us, we can begin to understand that it is a symptom of a deep need within ourselves, another, or society. Then we begin to know how to give-up what ultimately harms us and make it sacred.

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