Friday, July 29, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - July 29

Keeping Awake in Obedience to Him Who Is Holy

There is a special peace and sense of blessing on Sunday morning, though all mornings are equally quiet here at the hermitage and the same birds always sing. Today the peace is even greater because of the storm and cleansing in the night.

Seeing more and more that my understanding of myself and of my life has always been most inadequate. Now that I want more than ever to see, I realize how difficult it is. Though there is danger, doubtless, in solitude, I realize more than ever that here, in solitude, for me, is confrontation with the Word, and with God, and with the only possibilities that are fully real, or with those that are most real. (There is something real after all in community, but more and more, as I go down there, I have the sense that reality is smothered there and words are substituted for it.) Yet my job and that of the Church remains this: to awaken in myself and in others the sense of real possibility, of truth, of obedience to Him who is Holy, of refusal of pretences and servitude—without arrogance and hubris and specious idealism. The terrible thing is that our society, which pretends to be Christian, is in fact rejecting the noise of its own propaganda, able to make itself believe whatever it wants. This is a deluding, fanatical, stupid society. It is under judgment—and what can one say to it? It would be useless to pretend to be perfect, for no one, as far as I can see, is “sent” with any prophetic message. Least of all I.

July 18 and 19, 1965,V.271-72

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