Friday, August 19, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - August 19

Taste and See

From moment to moment, I remember with surprise that I am satisfied, even though everything is not yet fulfilled. I lack nothing. Omnino replete me—He satisfies me in all things. Sapientia—wisdom = sapor boni—savoring the good (St. Bernard). To know and taste the secret good that is present but is not known to those who, because they are restless and because they are discontent and because they complain, cannot apprehend it. The present good—reality—God. Gustate et videteTaste and see.

It is easy to say of every new idea that one meets, “It is all in St. Bernard.” It is very doubtful, for instance, whether Freud is “all in St. Bernard.” However, Emmanuel Mounier’s “Personalism” is essentially in St. Bernard. Hence to read Mounier with understanding is most profitable spiritual reading not only because it helps to understand St. Bernard but helps us to use him. We are paralyzed in our individualism and we turn everything to the advantage of sterile self-isolation (self-centered) and we do this in the name of our contemplative calling. What a disaster to build the contemplative life on the negation of communication. That is why there is so much noise in a Trappist monastery. The infernal chatter and hullabaloo, the continual roar of the machinery, the crash of objects falling from the hands of distraught contemplatives—all this protests that we hate silence with all our power because, with our wrong motives for seeking it, it is ruining our lives. Yet the fact remains that silence is our life—but a silence which is communion and better communication than words! If only someone could tell us how to find it.

August 20, 1956, III.70-71

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