Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - July 13

Psalms and the Tao

In the evening I began a perpetual Psalter—a necessity—not to say a given quantity any period of time, but just to keep the Psalter going from now on until I die (or can no longer do it). Need for the continuity the Psalter offers—continuity with my own past and with the past of eremitism. The Latin Psalter is for me! It is a deep communion with the Lord and with His saints of my Latin Church. To be in communion with the Saints of my tradition is by that fact to be more authentically in communion with those of the Greek, Syriac, etc., tradition, who reach me through my own Fathers.

St. Elias today. He has something to do with it! He is in it!

Great peace for the last couple of days, since the decision that I am to become a full-time hermit. Any day one could write “great peace,” but this is a very special and new dimension of peace: a tranquility that is not got by cultivation. It is given, and “not as the world gives do I give unto you.” The peace is not “it” but a confrontation with Thou. Martin Buber is certainly right. Confrontation with “Thee” in this word of solitude. All because of this one word, yesterday. All unified in this. One will, one command, one gift. A new creation of heavenly simplicity. I will write little about this, surely. Enough.

“If a man hears Tao in the morning and dies in the evening, his life has not been wasted.” I think now I really know what this means.

July 19 and 20, 1965, V.273-74

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