Christ beyond our imaginations

In the New Seeds of Contemplation, Thomas Merton observes:

“Every one of us forms an idea of Christ that is limited and incomplete. It is cut according to our own measure. We tend to create for ourselves a Christ in our own image, a projection of our own aspirations, desires and ideals. We find in him what we want to find. We make him not only the incarnation of God but also the incarnation of the things we and our society and our part of society happen to long for.” 

“Therefore, although it is true that perfection consists of imitating Christ and reproducing him in our own lives, it is not enough merely to imitate the Christ we have in our imaginations.” (p155-156)

Meditation on Christ, therefore, should include the deconstruction of our own pseudo-Christs. It reminds me of the Zen koan, “If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him.” It speaks of our propensity to cast idols in our own image rather than let God be God.

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