There is a walking path behind my house. It is technically a part of a bike path that stretches from Cincinnati to Cleveland. In order to try and become more healthy (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) I have started walking more. While I am seeing more sudden results by calorie counting and cutting back on visiting breweries, the walking has transcended just physicality. It has allowed a space in the morning where I have started to become more aware to what is around me.

Thomas Merton was a Cistercian Monk who died in the 1960’s but he is often thought of as one of the great contemplatives of the 20th century. This morning I started his book, New Seeds of Contemplation, and wanted to share with you all a part that struck me:

(On contemplation) Or rather it knows Him as if it had been visibly touched by Him. . . . Touched by Him Who has no hands, but Who is pure Reality and the source of all that is real! Hence contemplation is a sudden gift of awareness, an awakening of the Real within all that is real. A vivid awareness of infinite Being at the roots of our own limited being. An awareness of our contingent reality as received, as a present from God, as a free gift of love.

(Aside from the gender usage of G-d) this really struck me in a way I wasn’t expecting this morning. I don’t think it would have if I hadn’t started getting out in the morning, walking, and paying attention to the awareness of the pure reality it offered.

May you be aware of the infinite Reality around you this Labor Day weekend.

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