Sunday, March 4, 2012
A Year With Thomas Merton - March 4
Looking in the Mirror of my Books
Yesterday Seeds of Contemplation arrived and it is very handsome. The best job of printing that has ever been done on any book by me. I can hardly keep my hands off it. Jay Laughlin says the burlap effect we have on the cover is really a material they are using now on the walls of nightclubs. Well, it is the Christian technique: sanctify the saturnalia and lupercalia with Christian liturgy: turn them into Christian feasts.
Every book that comes out under my name is a new problem. To begin with, every one brings with it an immense examination of conscience.
Every book I write is a mirror of my own character and conscience. I always open the final printed job with a faint hope of finding myself agreeable, and I never do.
The Passion and the Precious Blood of Christ are too little in this new book--only hinted at here and there. Therefore the book is cold and cerebral. What is the good of trying to teach people to love God without preaching through Christ's wounds? The reason I do not do so is because I am still selfish. I find myself thinking about what we ought to get for dinner in Lent; about how to distribute signed complimentary copies of the deluxe edition of this book. I should never have gone into such a thing as a boxed special edition. I must be nuts.
March 6, 1949, II.287