Thursday, March 15, 2012
A Year With Thomas Merton - March 11
Seeding the Forest in Silence
The Communion antiphon sounded like bugles at the end of the Conventual Mass. This was because it is in the fifth tone and the fifth tone is full of melodies that echo in the new Jerusalem the silver trumpets that sounded in the temple of old. The sun is bright, and the spring is upon us, though the winds are cold. There are daffodils coming out by the door of the secular kitchen and in the beds outside this window. The Traxcavator roars merrily where they are trying to haul beams that weigh three tons up to the top floor of the new brothers' novitiate. And for my own part, I came out of Mass thinking about the trench where Frater John of God and I made haste to heel six thousand seedlings for the forest on Saturday afternoon. Today I hope to take about twenty novices out to the section of woods behind Donahue's and start planting these seedlings in the places we logged most heavily last winter.
When your tongue is silent, you can rest in the silence of the forest. when your imagination is silent, the forest speaks to you. It tells you of its unreality and of the Reality of God. But when your mind is silent, then the forest suddenly becomes magnificently real and blazes transparently with the Reality of God. For now I know that the Creation, which at first seems to reveal Him in concepts, then seems to hide Him by the same concepts, finally is revealed in Him, by the Holy Spirit. And we who are in God find ourselves united in Him with all that springs from Him. This is prayer, and this is glory!
March 17, 1952, II.470-71