As I reflect on the Scriptures here and elsewhere I’ve often come around to the theme of kenosis, (self-emptying), because it seems to me that filling up with God necessitates this action in our lives. I do not speak of beating ego out of ourselves to achieve sainthood. That flies in the face of half of the Great Commandment, the part that tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. But this morning we have the text again in which Paul speaks of the example of Christ who “emptied himself of godliness” in a willingness to come and teach us how to live. (PHIL 2:5-11) He says that we are to have that same mind, that willingness. I read something earlier (while waiting for the internet to come back to me…) that seems to fit how this process of emptying to be filled can work in our lives. I offer it today for our reflection.
Be content that you are not yet a saint, even though you realize that the only thing worth living for is sanctity. Then you will be satisfied to let God lead you to sanctity by paths that you cannot understand. You will travel in darkness in which you will no longer be concerned with yourself and no longer compare yourself to others. Those who have gone by that way have finally found out that sanctity is in everything and that God is all around them. They suddenly wake up and find that the joy of God is everywhere. (Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation)