Devout Idolatry

“The whole decor of habits and stalls and stained glass seems unreal when you have been praying the Psalms among pine trees.” – Thomas Merton


Religion easily becomes idolatry. It is not hard to create theological justification for excluding and harming others. There is another way. Jesus of Nazareth was an iconoclast. His inner life of loving communion with God guided all of his thoughts, feelings, and actions. He did not hesitate to overturn the tables of time-honored concepts and practices that were incongruent with God’s character.  We can do the same.


Religion empty of deep inner communion with God is a form of idolatry. God always transcends our cherished concepts, laws, and images. God is pure relational love and mercy. This love cannot be completely contained by any institution, ritual, or concept. Laws and doctrine become harmful when devoid of God’s love and mercy. Fortunately, God’s love is greater than all of our sins, which will pass.


Prayer: Lord of Life, help me to meet you beyond even the best concepts and expectations. Let me be challenged and transformed by your surprising love which will gently have its way in the end. 

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