Monday, January 2, 2012

A Year With Thomas Merton - January 2 [32nd birthday of Marie Claire Chateau Allen]

The Silence in Yourself

Yesterday it looked like snow. Today there is deep snow, and the sun is out, and the cedars full of snow stand up against a bright blue sky and the white hills are in a sort of haze and the abbey buildings are golden. That is the way Gethsemani looks in winter and Frater Linus's box of Kodachromes is full of just such pictures.

Yesterday, when I was reading in the cemetery, I thought how the silence you find in yourself, when you enter in and rest in God, is always the same and always new, even though it is unchanging. For that silence is true life and, even though your body moves around (as mine did vigorously, being cold), your soul stays in the same place, resting in its life Who is God, now in winter just as it did before in summer, without any apparent difference, as if nothing had changed at all, and the passage of seasons had only been an illusion.

For the first time since the beginning of December, I went out to work to let some fresh air into my stuffy head and let a few phantasms fly away into the trees. We broke rock down on the road to the lower bottom, outside the enclosure, past the horse barn. How good it was to be out working with my brothers! and I felt this even about those who ordinarily rub me the wrong way! How good it is to have a rule in which simplicity and poverty and hardship play so large a part so that you can give yourself up to God by it!

January 17 and 21, 1948, II.158-59

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