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Dynamics of Spiritual Life

June 1, 2011

Ray Ortlund from Richard Lovelace’s Dynamics of a Spiritual Life:

In 1952, when I was twenty-one and still an atheist studying philosophy at Yale, I picked up a copy of Thomas Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain and began to read about the author’s pilgrimage from secular intellectualism to the Trappist Order.  As I read, my mind became enlightened by the reality of the presence of God.  It suddenly became clear that behind all the beauty and order in nature and human art there lies a divine creative wisdom, an infinite personality whose beauty is past change.  In Merton’s metaphor, it seemed as though a window in the depths of my consciousness, a window I had never seen before, had suddenly been opened, allowing a blazing glimpse of new orders of existence.  My mind was suddenly filled with streams of thinking which reordered my understanding around the central fact of God, streams which I knew were not rising from any source within my natural awareness, which now seemed a desert by comparison.  Immediately, irrevocably I was no longer an atheist.  If someone had spoken to me about a ‘leap of faith,’ I would not have known what they were talking about; for there was no gap to leap.  I felt that I was in contact with God.

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From → Spiritual Growth

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