Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - December 1

Advent Weather

It is beautiful Advent weather, greyish and cold, with clouds of light snow howling across the valley, and I see it is really winter. I put some bread out for the birds.

I feel closer to my beginning than ever, and perhaps I am near my end. The Advent hymns sound as they first did, as if they were the nearest things to me that ever were, as if they had been decisive in shaping my heart and my life, as if I had received their form, as if there could never be any other melodies so deeply connatural to me. They are myself, words and melody and everything. So also the Rorate Coeli that brought me here to pray for peace. I have not prayed for it well enough, or been pure enough in heart, or wise enough. And today, before the Blessed Sacrament, I was ashamed of my impertinences and the deep infidelities of my life, rooted in weakness and confusion.

Yesterday, I celebrated my Mass for the new generation, the new poets, the fighters for peace, and my novices. There is in many of them a peculiar quality of truth that older squares have driven out of themselves in a days of rigidity and secure right thinking. May God keep us from being "right thinking" men, who think, that is, with their own police (and since the police don't think, neither do these others).

December 9, 1962, IV.272-73


  1. Where might I find this quote? Is this from Merton's Journals or a book of letters? Thanks.

    1. Hi Mike, sorry to be so long in responding. I don't check the comments nearly enough. All of these passages are from A Year With Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals, selected and edited by Jonathan Montaldo. I received that book as a gift and, as a spiritual exercise for myself, typed them in this space and selected photos to go with them. I find I absorb texts more readily when I type them, strangely enough. Harper One is the publisher.

      Blessings for your journey!