Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - December 13

All My Fathers

(Thomas Merton becomes a postulant at Gethsemani on December 13, 1941)

In the cemetery I looked up at the sky and thought of the great sea of graces that was flowing down on Gethsemani as her hundredth year was ending. All the crosses stood up and spoke to me for fair this time. It was as if the earth were shaking under my feet and as if the jubilant dead were just about to sit up and sing.

And I got some taste of how much there is to be glad for in the world because of Gethsemani. Not that I am looking for any such taste anymore: only how to serve God better and belong more completely to Him.

Father Amadeus was speaking today of the need for a concrete spiritual ideal. What strikes me is the need of something absolutely concrete and definite--poverty, humility: not something abstract, off in the heavens, but here, at Gethsemani. Not for other people first, but for myself first. To make it a real ideal you work for, not just one you occasionally think and preach about. To ask God somehow to make me the quietest and meekest and most unobtrusive man in the whole house, the poorest man, the one with nothing. I am right at the other end of the pole from that--but in the circumstances God has given me to work with, there are still graces--and all the Fathers of Gethsemani, who I love, will all pray for me.

December 20, 1948, II.256-57

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