Tuesday, November 8, 2011
A Year With Thomas Merton - November 8
The Gift of Fatherhood
On the night watch, hurrying by, I pushed open the door of the novice's scriptorium and flashed the light over all the empty desks. It was as if the empty room was wholly full of their hearts and their love, as if their goodness had made the place wholly good and rich in love. The loveliness of humanity which God has taken to Himself in love, and the wonder of each individual person among them. This is of final and eternal significance. To have been appointed by God to be their father, to have received them from God as my children, to have loved them and been loved by them with such simplicity and sincerity, without nonsense or flattery or sentimentality: this is completely wonderful and is a revelation, a parousia of the Lord of History.
From this kind of love necessarily springs hope, hope even for political action, for here, paradoxically, hope is most necessary. Hope is always most necessary precisely when everything, spiritually, seems hopeless. And this is precisely in the confusion of politics. Hope against hope that man can gradually disarm and cease preparing for destruction and learn at last that he must live at peace with his brother. Never have we been less disposed to do this. It must be learned, it must be done, and everything else is secondary to this supremely urgent need of man.
November 27, 1961, IV.183