Friday, September 16, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - September 9

To Absorb, to Digest, to Remember

Heavy rain after a long dry spell. (I think perhaps I register all the rain in this book--my journal--solicitude for rain and freshness, as if dying in a desert.

Sorrow. Sorrow for sin. No more fooling about this sorrow in silence. Mourning. Grief.

Importance of being able to rethink thoughts that were fundamental to men of other ages, or fundamental to men in other countries. For me, especially: contemporary Latin America--Greek Patristic period--Mt. Athos--Confucian China--T'ang dynasty--Pre-Socratic Greece. Despair of ever beginning to know and understand, to communicate with these pasts and these distances, yet sense of obligation to do so, to live them and combine them in myself, to absorb, to digest, to "remember." Memoria. Have not yet begun. How will I ever begin to appreciate their problems, reformulate the questions they tried to answer? Is it even necessary? Is it sane? For me it is an expression of love for man and for God. An expression without which my contemplative life would be useless.

And to share this with my own contemporaries.

September 8 and 9, 1960, IV.42-43

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