Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Year With Thomas Merton - January 7

The Sin of Wanting to Be Heard

The question of writing: definitely it has to be cut down, or changed.

Someone accused me of being a "high priest" of creativity. Or, at least, of allowing people to regard me as one. This is perhaps true.

The sin of wanting to be a pontiff, of wanting to be heard, of wanting converts, disciples. Being in a cloister, I thought I did not want this. Of course I did, and everyone knows it.

St. William, says the Breviary this night, when death approached, took off his pontifical vestments (what he was doing with them on in bed I can't imagine) and by his own efforts got to the floor and died.

So I am like him, in bed with a miter on. What am I going to do about it?

I have got to face the fact that there is in me a desire for survival as a pontiff, prophet, and writer, and this has to be renounced before I can be myself at last.

January 19, 1961, IV.87

1 comment:

  1. I suppose I understand his concern. I read it as wanting to avoid excessive pride in one's writing and/or a wish to be regarded more highly because one knows a thing or two above average about writing. But I could also see a danger here of denying the gift and that would be just as wrong as being overly proud of the gift.