Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - November 15

Feast of Joy and Anguish

Feast of the Dedication of Gethsemani's Church. This always turns out to be a feast of anguish, as well as one of joy.

Nothing could be more beautiful, nothing could make me happier than the hymn Urbs Jerusalem--and to sing certain verses of that hymn in the evening looking at the sacramental flames of candles upon the wall where the building was touched and blessed by Christ and made into a sacrament of Himself.

"They shall stand forever within the sacred walls." I, too, "will stand forever," placed in a permanent position. I am glad, I am truly happy, I am really grateful to God, for it means eternal salvation.

And yet it raises again the unanswerable question: "What on earth am I doing here?" I have answered it a million times. "I belong here," and this is no answer. In the end, there is no answer like that. Any vocation is a mystery, and juggling with words does not make it any clearer.

It is a contradiction and must remain a contradiction.

November 15, 1957, III.137

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