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Daily Devotional for November 6

November 6                                                Matthew 13:36-43

               "The righteous will shine like the sun. "

In The Ascent of Mount Carmel, John of the Cross compares
the life surrendered to God to a log placed onto the fire.
Initially, the wood crackles and hisses, "crying out" as the
fire destroys its outer defenses. Eventually, however, it yields
to the flame; it ignites, burns, and is finally converted into the

Today's Gospel describes a similar process. The Messiah enters
the world with fire, and in the heat of the flames, all causes
of sin and all evildoers are destroyed. The children of the
heavenly realm, however, are not destroyed; they "shine like
the sun," suggesting that they have been changed into fire -
for what is the sun if not a huge ball of flames?

Today's Gospel therefore invites us to gather up those scat-
tered longings of our hearts that obscure our deepest desire,
the desire for union with God, and to gather up along with
them the little strategies we use to avoid intimacy with God,
and to surrender them all as a burnt offering to God. As we
repeat this surrender each day, the fire of God's love gradually
transforms us into itself until we ourselves become that same
gift of fire to the world - like Moses, like Jesus, like the
disciples at Pentecost.

    Abbot Lot came to Abbot Joseph and said: "Father,
    according as I am able, I keep my little rule, and my little
    fast, my prayer, meditation and contemplative silence;
    and according as I am able I strive to cleanse my heart
    of thoughts. Now what more should I do?" The elder rose
    up in reply and stretched out his hands to heaven, and
    his fingers became like ten lamps of fire. He said, "Why
    not be totally changed into fire?" ¹

¹ Thomas Merton: The Wisdom of the Desert. Copyright @ 1960 by The Abbey
of Gethsemane, Inc. Reprinted by permission of New Directions.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989  23

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