Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul.
For just as the winds carry thousands of invisible and visible winged seeds, so the stream of time brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men.
Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the good soil of liberty and desire.The mind that is prisoner of its own pleasure and the will that is captive of its own desire cannot accept the seeds of a higher pleasure and a supernatural desire.
For how can I receive the seeds of freedom if I am in love with slavery and how can I cherish the desire of God if I am filled with another opposite desire?
God will not plant His liberty in me because I am a prisoner and I do not even desire to be free.
I love my captivity and I lock myself in the desire for things that I hate and I have hardened my heart against true love.
It is the word "slavery" that I would change.
In it's place I would insert any of the following:
"For how can I receive the seeds of freedom if I am in love with [sin, selfishness, filth, having control of my life, evil, power, money, greed]?
It's painfully true when Merton says, "I lock myself in the desire for things that I hate".
Because obviously, if you stopped someone on the street and asked them if they hated the words and phrases I listed above they would answer YES!
Or at least most people would.
Some for no other reason they know better than to say out loud that they love their own greediness.
Then again, in today's world, many of these attributes are worshiped.
Selfishness, power, greed. qualities that many sacrifice everything for.
The pursuit of these qualities causes too many to harden their hearts against true love.
How can you long for true love when your vision is so distorted, when you yourself only give out love to get what you want?
Most people have never experienced true love because they love captivity more.
At least captivity is familiar, at least it is not a risk.
Experiencing true love, Christ's love, is unfamiliar and risky.
It is only when you become completely fed up with how your life is unfolding, that risk and uncertainty become attractive.
For some, it doesn't take much to get there, for others it takes a devastating amount of pain.
Either way, when you arrive there, at rock bottom, you have the choice to wallow in it and remain in slavery, or shake off the shackles of what you know about life and be free!
I must constantly refuse the slavery that I love.
I must give up my selfishness and filth over and over and over again.
I must choose Christ's freedom every morning so that the seed that He planted in the soil of my soul may flourish.