Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Year With Thomas Merton - April 14

Bearing Witness to What Is Simple
Is there not a false eschatology of the "new heaven and new earth" which places its hope in the power of science to transform earth and heaven into places of happiness and bliss? (With God or without Him for that matter.) Is the true prospect rather that the stupidity and pride of man will ruin the earth, and that God will restore it through charity and the tears of the poor, the "remnant" and the saints? I am not saying this false eschatology is in the article of K. V. Truhlar's, which has excellent things in it--but theologians occupied with the Christian and the world are not sufficiently aware of what technology is doing to the world and, in failing to make distinctions, they tend to embrace all manifestations of progress without question in "turning to the world" and in "Christian temporal action." Hence inevitably we get Christians in the U. S. supporting a criminally stupid military adventure in Vietnam.
There is no question for me that my one job as monk is to live the hermit life in simple, direct contact with nature, primitively, quietly, doing some writing, maintaining such contacts as are willed by God, and bearing witness to the value and goodness of simple things and ways, and loving God in it all. I am more convinced of this than of anything contingent upon my life, and I am sure it is what He asks of me. Yet I do not always respond with simplicity.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder what Merton would have to say about earth steward ministries in churches these days? How would they fit his notion of "false eschatology?"