When the love of God is in me, God is able to love you through me and you are able to love God through me. If my soul were closed to that love, God’s love for you and your love for God and God’s love for himself in you and me would be denied the particular expression it finds through me and through no other.
Because God’s love is in me, it can come to you from a different and special direction that would be closed if he did not live in me, and because his love is in you, it can come to me from a quarter from which it would not otherwise come.
Maybe you need to re-read that…? Thomas Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation is quite dense writing. But there’s something worth reflecting on here, I think. You are a unique expression of the image of God: no one reflects him quite like you do. And if you withhold yourself from the community of the church, you are taking something from me which cannot be found elsewhere. God’s love through you comes to me like God’s love through no one else.
So with whom do you need to share yourself in community today? Sometimes it’s costly, yet we also will benefit as we receive God’s love ‘from a quarter from which it would not otherwise come’.