Friday, July 24, 2009

Is Merton Right?

You ever had A Year with Thomas Merton, the monk and mystic?

Most of what he says whistles well over my head. A riff of wisdom he posted way back on July 2nd, 1948 talks about tranquility. You know, the thing that's opposite fear and anxiety.

Here's what Thomas Merton said of his notion of tranquility:

"I have more of it perhaps because I am less mixed up today in peculiar tensions of desire and pride that come from fighting the will of God in an obscure way, under the pretext of a greater good."

Oh, my. But wait, here's some even more in your face stuff:

"There is only one way to peace: be reconciled that of yourself you are what you are, and it might not be especially magnificent, what you are!" (Ouch!)

"God has His own plan for making something else of you, and it is a plan which you are mostly too dumb to understand." (Double-- Maybe Even Triple-- Ouch!)

So, here's a simple two-word takeaway: Dumb and dumber.

A lot of times I'm too dumb to understand Merton. A guy who tells me from a simple post all the way back in 1948 I'm even dumber to understand the Big Picture when it comes to finding a slice of tranquility.

You know like I know there's a lot of fear and anxiety out there in the world in 2009.

Maybe this is the dumb thought for the week, but I'll ask anyway: Is Merton right?


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