Friday, December 30, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - December 31

A Happy Ending

Last night, after a prayer vigil in the novitiate chapel (didn't do a good job--was somewhat disorganized and distracted), I went to bed late at the hermitage. All quiet. No lights at Boone's or Newton's. Cold. Lay in bed and realized that it was there, not as an "it" or object. It simply was. And I was that. And this morning, coming down, seeing the multitude of stars above the bare branches of the wood, I was suddenly hit, as it were, with the whole package of meaning of everything: that the immense mercy of God was upon me, that the Lord in infinite kindness had looked down on me and given me the vocation out of love, and that He had always intended this, and how foolish and trivial had been all my fears and desperation. And no matter what anyone else might do or say about it, however they might judge or evaluate it, all is irrelevant in the reality of my vocation to solitude, even though I am not a typical hermit. Quite the contrary, perhaps. It does not matter how I may or may not be classified. In the light of this simple fact of God's love and the form it has taken in the mystery of my life, classifications are ludicrous, and I have no further need to occupy my mind with them (if I ever did)--at least in this connection.

The only response is to go out from yourself with all that one is, which is nothing, and pour out that nothingness in gratitude that God is who He is. All speech is impertinent; it destroys the simplicity of that nothing before God by making it seem as if it had been "something."

December 9, 1964, V.178


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. May your 2012 contain as many blessings as the sky contains stars.

    5 He brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your descendants be." Genesis 15:5