Musings

Thomas Merton (1915–1968)

Thomas merton.jpg

Today, we remember the death of Thomas Merton and celebrate his life and especially his prolific vocation as a writer. 

"The danger of education, I have found, is that it so easily confuses means with ends. Worse than that, it quite easily forgets both and devotes itself merely to the mass production of uneducated graduates--people literally unfit for anything except to take part in an elaborate and completely artificial charade which they and their contemporaries have conspired to call 'life'."
(from Love and Living, 1980)

"Being interested in Thomas Merton is not being interested in an original, a 'shaping' mind, but being interested in God and human possibilities. Merton will not let me look at him for long: he will, finally, persuade me to looking the direction he i looking... I don't want to know much more about Merton; he is dead, and I shall commend him regularly, lovingly, and thankfully to God. I am concerned to find how I can turn further in the direction he is looking, in prayer, poetry, theology, and encounter with the experience of other faiths; in trust and love of God our savior. The great Christian is the man or woman who can make me more interested in God than in him or her. A paradoxical tribute, but the highest that can be paid."
(Rowan Williams, A Silent Action, 2011)

What I'm reading

What I'm reading

Thinking about different options for "formation" offerings for the Fall, I've been reading a couple great books, one of which I just finished. The Apostles' Creed by Ben Myers, an Australian theologian and acquaintance of mine, is an outstanding read.

The Pleasures of Spiritual Companionship in an Age of Distraction

The Pleasures of Spiritual Companionship in an Age of Distraction

When I think about the work of a college chaplain, I envision someone a bit less enigmatic and a lot less physical than Mr. Miyagi, but the principle remains. What people need, what I need, is not a spiritual boss to tell them what to do, how to vote, what to eat, drink, or wear. Instead, what we all need is help and companionship.