James Finley

Washing Each Other’s Feet – James Finley

Trying to love. Meeting half way. The work of love. I thought this was an important sermon given by James Finley. Just ran across it randomly and of course we all know that nothing is random in this Universe. Hope you get something out of it. Happy Holidays.


Sitting In The Sun


Merton once told me to quit trying so hard in prayer. He said, “How does an apple ripen? It just sits in the sun.”

~ Thomas Merton in James Finley’s Merton’s “Palace of Nowhere”

Painting by Vilhelms Purvitis (1872)

Simple Presence


“Before undertaking any project, assuming any stance, fulfilling any purpose, we are called upon to abide ourselves, to do what we do, to “just live,” and in simple presence to life learn to expect nothing out of anything and everything out of nothing.”

~ James Finely, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere

Painting by Julian Alden Weir (1908)


The Great Revelation


“And so the true nature of the struggle of the dark night begins to appear. The great revelation is that, if our struggle is authentic, we find we are not alone.”

~ James Finley, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere

Painting by Louis Tribsees Douzette (1869)


What Faith Means


“Like “a man in the divided sea” we walk on, leaving far behind us the shore of certitude. While on both sides stand walls of water that could at any moment sweep over us, leaving us buried in the unknown depths of our own inscrutable mystery. It is here we learn what faith means. It is here we discover that by faith we can stand alone and lost, yet know all the while that the Father holds us and will never let us go.”

~ James Finley, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere

Painting by Caspar David Friedrich (1775)


Retracing Adam’s Journey


“This falling into God through faith is our retracing of Adam’s journey, in which he fell out of faith by refusing to believe in God. Adam passed through the center of himself, placing himself between himself and God. He thus gained someone to grasp, to see, to control-someone he imagined himself to be. In reality this was but a shadow behind which he hid from God. Our faith is God’s gift. When it is accepted and lived, it dissolves the shadow of the false self.”

~ James Finley, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere

Painting by Émile Bernard (1868)


Going Beyond


“Merton once told me that so few of us are willing to become people of prayer because so few of us are willing to go beyond definitions and concepts to grasp life itself. There comes a time when one must set out in earnest to return to the Father’s house, to find his way out of the burning building, to choose life instead of death.”

~ James Finley, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere

Painting by Camille Pissarro (1884)