At Mass today, on this feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ I was reminded of something I read last fall:
Only a repeated miracle of God from minute to minute keeps me from falling into hell. I am made out of earth and ashes and spittle and a little mud. I don’t know why I don’t vanish like smoke. I am astounded and terrified at the tenacious pride of life that sticks in me. It says something in the Breviary how God will confront you, and show you that he is not like you.
I walk around with temptation sticking in my stomach like a dagger, so bad I could vomit. Yet I hang by a thin thread of grace: when I go to take in my mouth the Blessed Sacrament, how can I do it without crawling on my face the length of the chapel? Every minute I am like a man condemned to death. If God wills, He can pardon me. If He does not will, I am executed. The knife falls. Every minute I am forced to plead for my life.
– Run to the Mountain: The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 1, 1939-1941.
No crawling on my face was involved today, though God knows it should have.