July 27, 2017

Merton: “Every other man is a piece of myself”

It is therefore of supreme importance that we consent to live not for ourselves but for others. When we do this we will be able first of all to face and accept our own limitations. As long as we secretly adore ourselves, our own deficiencies will remain to torture us with an apparent defilement. But […]

Fridays with Michael Spencer: February 10, 2017

⍎ Yesterday, in Louisville, at the corner of 4th and Walnut, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, […]

Merton Week: Ora et Labora

• • • I asked Reverend Father what made Brother [Gregory, who had just died] so saintly. I don’t know what kind of answer I was hoping to get. It would have made me happy to hear something about a deep and simple spirit of prayer, something about unsuspected heights of faith, purity of heart, […]

Merton: “Full of the racket of my imperfections and passions”

• • • You have made my soul for Your peace and Your silence, but it is lacerated by the noise of my activity and my desires. My mind is crucified all day by its own hunger for experience, for ideas, for satisfaction. And I do not possess my house in silence. But I was […]

Merton: A Path So Mundane, Can It Really Be?

• • • The simplest and most effective way to sanctity is to disappear into the background of ordinary everyday routine. • Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas

Merton Week: As if I were a different kind of being

Who can escape the secret desire to breathe a different atmosphere from the rest of men? • • • And now I am thinking of the disease which is spiritual pride. I am thinking of the peculiar unreality that gets into the hearts of the saints and eats their sanctity away before it is mature. […]

Merton Week: The Place I Wish to Begin, the Well from Which I Wish to Draw

❅ Let me keep silence in this world, except in so far as God wills and in the way He wills it. • Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas

Another Look: “To Go through Life Guessing Wrong”

Once, while reading Thomas Merton on the subject of vocation (No Man Is an Island), I came across this stunning passage: Our vocation is not a sphinx’s riddle, which we must solve in one guess or else perish. Some people find, in the end, that they have made many wrong guesses and that their paradoxical […]

Another Look: Go forth to meet him

Tomorrow is the beginning of December. We are a few brief weeks away from welcoming the Christ-child at his birth. As we face this season and event, here are some words from Brother Thomas Merton that make me think. For Christmas will come this year, just as it did long ago in Bethlehem. And, as on […]

Pic & Passage of the Week: November 13, 2016

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • Hence contemplation is a sudden gift of awareness, an awakening to the Real within all that is real. A vivid awareness of infinite Being at the roots of our own limited being. An awareness of our contingent reality as received, as a present from God, as […]