Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Year With Thomas Merton - January 18

An Ecology of Silence

The new bells sound wonderful from the woods.

St. John's day--Frater Tarcisius and I walked all the way to Hanekamp's in the afternoon. Wonderful, quiet little valley! The silent house, the goats in the red sage grass, the dry creek, and Hanekamp's vineyard. The beautiful silence of the woods on every side! Frater Tarcisius looked about with such reverence that you would have thought he was seeing angels. Later we separated to pray apart in the thinned pine grove on the southeastern hillside. And I could see how simple it is to find God in solitude. There is no one else, nothing else. He is all there to find there. Everything is in Him. And what could be more pleasing to Him than that we should leave all things and all company to be with Him and think only of Him and know Him alone, in order to give Him our love?

To be alone by being part of the universe--fitting in completely to an environment of woods and silence and peace. Everything you do becomes a unity and a prayer. Unity within and without. Unity with all living things--without effort or contention. My silence is part of the whole world's silence and builds the temple of God without the noise of hammers.

December 29 and January 28, 1953, III.27, 29

1 comment:


    "A poem in Latin, composed by Damasus, serves as the only positive historical evidence of the saint's existence:

    Par meritum, quicumque legis, cognosce duorum,
    quis Damasus rector titulos post praemia reddit.
    Iudaicus populus Stephanum meliora monentem
    perculerat saxis, tulerat qui ex hoste tropaeum,
    martyrium primus rapuit levita fidelis.
    Tarsicium sanctum Christi sacramenta gerentem
    cum male sana manus premeret vulgare profanis,
    ipse animam potius voluit dimittere caesus
    prodere quam canibus rabidis caelestia membra.

    Damasi Epigrammata, Maximilian Ihm, 1895, n. 14

    Translated it is:

    Equal merit, as many as the law, know of two, Who makes the rewards after the titles of the rector of Damasus. Stephen warns the Jewish people better perculerat with stones, who had taken a trophy from the enemy, Levite has seized the first martyrdom of the faithful. Tarsicium holy sacraments of Christ, the assistant premeret ill with sound common profane hands, rather he wished to put away the soul he was beaten members of the heavenly than to betray the dogs."