Today is a day for reflectin' on some good ol' Thomas Merton quotes. Here's the first one:
"In Louisville, at the corner of fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation.....Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire...can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God's eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed......I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other." Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander pp156-158
There are a lot of people in this world. Everywhere I turn there are people all around me. What if each and everyone of them was a source of inspiration that enriched to the quality of my life? This would be very, very nice. It's a headache thinking about how I'd get to that point, but it's nice to just imagine being in that state of awareness where everyone would seem beautiful. Apparently, all I have to do is see people as they really are. Another quote from ol' Merton:
"The saints are what they are, not because their sanctity makes them admirable to others, but because the gift of sainthood makes it possible for them to admire everybody else. It gives them a clarity of compassion that can find good in the most terrible criminals. It delivers them from the burden of judging others, condemning other men. It teaches them to bring the good out of others by compassion, mercy, and pardon. A man becomes a saint not by conviction that he is better than sinners but by the realization that he is one of them , and that all together need the mercy of God." New Seeds of Contemplation p 57
So if I see the best in others I will become a saint? I hear they have superhuman powers! Maybe, maybe not. But anyways, it's nice to think that if I just look for goodness in other people that there is the possibility of finding endless inspiration and a simple way of benefitting others that enabled the saints to do what they did.