Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - August 29

The Flow of Events

Inexorably life moves on toward crisis and mystery.

One must not be too quickly preoccupied with professing definitively what is true and what is false. Not that true and false do not matter. But if at every instant one wants to grasp the whole and perfect truth of a situation, particularly a concrete and limited situation in history or politics, one only deceives and blinds himself. Such judgments are only rarely and fleetingly possible, and sometimes, when we think we see what is most significant, it has very little meaning at all.

So it is possible that the moment of my death may turn out to be, from a human and "economic" point of view, the most meaningless of all.

Meanwhile, I do not have to stop the flow of events in order to understand them. On the contrary, I must move with them or else what I think I understand will be no more than an image in my own mind.

So, the flow of events: Terry Phillips with a wrecking bar smashing the plaster off the walls of the room in the old guest house where, twenty years ago, I first came on retreat, that moonlit night in Lent! Terry--our youngest postulant--was not even born then.

August 16 and 19, 1961, IV.152-53

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