contemplating Christ

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Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true Man,
   in Whom the fullness of God dwells and is manifested,
   whoever tries to be a contemplative without you is dead.
Whoever enters into interior darkness in which You cannot be found
   enters into the gates of hell.
Whoever enters into a silence in which Your voice cannot be heard
   enters into the antechamber of the devil.
Whoever goes where You cannot be seen is crazy.

I will not fear the darkness where,
        desiring to find You,
   my desire does not seem to find You.
But if I desire You,
   I have already found You.
If I love You,
   You are with me.
If I cry out to You,
   You have already heard my voice.

Thomas Merton, 1915 – 1968, American Catholic writer and Trappist monk
Dialogues with Silence

_____________________

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.

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