August 15 Thomas Merton

Friday before President’s Convocation

No post yesterday.  I and the other 21 members of our community who are here spent Wednesday afternoon and evening, as well as Thursday until mid-afternoon, at the Manresa Retreat Center on 16 Mile and Woodward.  That’s been our custom at the beginning of the academic year for while & it did me lots of good, my fellow Jesuits too I think.

Today’s post is a passage from the writings of Thomas Merton, a mystic whose roots in the hustling society of east coast America generated a mysticism tastes contemporary decade after decade even though he died too young, being accidentally electrocuted by faulty wiring in a fan.  As with many mystics, Merton writes in a language intimately close to atheism and to the mystery of an untamable God.  I think of him as close kin with Rabindranath Tagore.  Thousands of readers in what gets called Western culture and readers in Eastern culture as well find kinship with his writings.  I hope you find this not very well known quotation a gift for the end of the work week.

 

john sj

p.s.   I feel some completely unearned proprietary rights because I happened to have been born on the same date that he died, December 10, 1968.

 

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

                                                                  from Thoughts in Solitude

Merton

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