Wednesday, December 14, 2011
A Year With Thomas Merton - December 14
Arriving at the Place God Destined for Me
Yesterday, went down to the monastery only for my own Mass and dinner. Cooked supper at the hermitage, in fact, cooked too much rice, having miscalculated, and sat half an hour consuming it, with tea. But it was a splendid supper (looking out at the hills in the clear evening light). After that, washing dishes--the bowl, the pot, the cup, the knife (for oleo), the spoon--looked up and set a jet like a small rapid jewel traveling north between the moon and the evening star--the moon being nearly full. Then I went out for a little walk down to my gate (about a hundred yards) and looked out over the valley. Incredibly beautiful and peaceful. Blue hills, blue sky, woods, empty fields, lights going on in the Abbey, to the right, through the screen of trees, hidden from the hermitage. And out there, light on the three farms I can see. One at Newton's and two others out there in the hills behind Gethsemani station.
Everything that the Fathers say about the solitary life is exactly true. The temptations and the joys, above all, the tears and the ineffable peace and happiness. The happiness that is so pure because it is simply not one's own making, but sheer mercy and gift! And the sense of having arrived at last in the place destined for me by God, and for which I was brought here twenty-three years ago!
December 16, 1964, V.179-80