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

1 comment:

  1. Psalm 139

    O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
    2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from far away.
    3 You search out my path and my lying down,
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
    4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
    O Lord, you know it completely.
    5 You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
    6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is so high that I cannot attain it.

    7 Where can I go from your spirit?
    Or where can I flee from your presence?
    8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
    if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
    9 If I take the wings of the morning
    and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
    10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me fast.
    11 If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light around me become night’,
    12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is as bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

    13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Wonderful are your works;
    that I know very well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you,
    when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
    16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
    In your book were written
    all the days that were formed for me,
    when none of them as yet existed.
    17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
    18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
    I come to the end*—I am still with you.

    19 O that you would kill the wicked, O God,
    and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me—
    20 those who speak of you maliciously,
    and lift themselves up against you for evil!*
    21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
    And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
    22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
    I count them my enemies.
    23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my thoughts.
    24 See if there is any wicked* way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.