The Incarnation: God Gives Himself Totally (Thomas Merton)

This is what it means to be a Christian.

March 25, 1960. In emptying Himself to come into the world, God has not simply kept in reserve, in a safe place, His reality and manifested a kind of shadow or symbol of Himself. He has emptied Himself and is all in Christ…

Christ is not simply the tip of the little finger of the Godhead, moving in the world, easily withdrawn, never threatened, never really risking anything. God has acted and given Himself totally, without division, in the Incarnation. He has become not only one of us, but even our very selves.

This is what it means to be a Christian: not simply one who believes certain reports about Christ, but one who lives in a conscious confrontation with Christ in Himself and in other men. This means, therefore, the choice to become empty of one’s self, the illusory self fabricated by our desires and fears, the self that is here now and will cease being here if this or that happens.


Thomas Merton

Excerpted from Angelic Mistakes: The Art of Thomas Merton


Leave a Reply

Get a signed copy of "Sandy: A Heart for God"!Click here