Monday, June 6, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - June 6

Receiving an Honor

“It particularly belongs to our profession to seek no honor in this life, but to flee honors….” (The Rule for Solitaries, c. 23)

Receiving an honor:

A very small, gold-winged moth came and settled on the back of my hand, and sat there, so light that I could not feel it. I wondered at the beauty and delicacy of this being—so perfectly made, with mottled golden wings. So perfect. I wonder if there is even a name for it. I never saw such a thing before. It would not go away until, needing my hand, I blew it lightly into the woods.

In the afternoon: I knew there was an intruder in the front room of the hermitage, where I could hear movement. I went to see, and it was a Carolina wren which had been thinking of coming in already the day before yesterday. It flew out again, as though it were not welcome!

This experience of solitude is important and most valuable. How badly I have been needing whole days and days in succession out here. At last I am getting a decent perspective again, and there is no question that my desire for solitude has been basically right, and not a delusion. I thank God that I have, by His grace, at least come this far and not made the fatal wrong steps that would have probably led to failure without clarification (for instance, trying to make a go of it as a Carthusian).

June 5 and 6, 1963, IV.328-29

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