Sunday, December 18, 2011
A Year With Thomas Merton - December 18
Praying for a Wise Heart
This morning I was praying much for a wise heart. I think the gift of this Christmas has been the real discovery of Julian of Norwich. I have long been around and hovered at her door and known that she was one of my best friends, and just because I was so sure of her wise friendship, I did not make haste to seek what I now find.
She seems to me a true theologian with a greater clarity and organization and depth even than St. Teresa of Avila. I mean she really elaborates the content of revelation as deeply experienced. It is first experienced, then thought, and the thought deepens again into life, so that all her life the content of her vision was penetrating her through and through.
One of the central convictions is her eschatological orientation to the central, dynamic secret act "by which all shall be made well" at the last day, the "great deed" ordained by our Lord from without beginning.
Especially the first paradox--she must "believe"and accept the doctrine that there are some damned, yet also the "word" of Christ shall be "saved in all things" and "all manner of thing shall be well." The heart of her theology is this apparent contradiction in which she must remain steadfastly. I believe that this "wise heart" that I have prayed for is precisely this--to stay in this hope and this contradiction, fixed on the certainty of the "great deed," which alone gives the Christian and spiritual life its true, full dimension.
December 27, 1961, IV.189-90