Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - September 28

Coming Home to the Monastery

Coming back from the hospital to the monastery (last evening) was never better. Sense of recovery, of returning to something good and sane, principally the quiet here.

Coming home--cool evening, grey sky, dark hills. I felt again, once more, a renewal of the first intuition, the awareness of belonging where these rocky hills are, that I belong to this parcel of land with pine trees and woods and fields, and that this is my place.

Bright, cool afternoon. Lavender flowers on the soybeans in the field below the novitiate. As I came into the woods a covey of young quail started up out of the long grass and I was very happy--for I had worried about them. I hope the hunters keep away from there this fall.

A very fine, penetrating essay by Ivan Illich on missionary poverty, not clinging to one's own culture and background. I must rethink all this in the light of my own vocation, for I have not been good at that kind of poverty. On the other hand, my studies, etc., are useful for the community and for what I write. But I must be careful to distinguish where I am "not poor." My greatest failures are perhaps in poverty.

A cool wind moves all the leaves in the forest and blows joyously and freely all through the house.

September 6, 1962, IV.244-45

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