See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fr. Louis

And Terry.
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"My idea of what I am is falsified by my admiration for what I do. And my illusions about myself are bred by contagion from the illusions of other men. We all seek to imitate one anothers imagined greatness....If I do not know who I am, it is because I think I am the sort of person everyone around me wants me to be. Perhaps I have never asked myself whether I wanted to become what everybody else seems to want to become. Perhaps if I only realized that I do not admire what everyone seem to admire, I would really begin to live after all."  - Merton: No Man Is An Island
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Not so much.  I'd have to rephrase it a bit to fit me...
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... My idea of what I am is falsified by my preoccupation about what I do.  And my illusions about myself are bred by contagion from the illusions of other men. We all seek to emulate one anothers imagined greatness....If I do not know who I am, it is because I think I am the sort of person everyone around me wants me to be. I have asked myself whether I wanted to become what everybody else seems to want to become... only to realize that I do not admire what everyone else seems to admire.  I have only thus begun to live after all...  But it is very late.
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That's a better fit.
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I haven't bought all of what Merton had to say - I just thought I'd mention that.

5 comments:

  1. I do like Merton. I'm not sure what the big hoopla is all about with him. Is it that he began a dialogue with Buddhist contemplatives? I've yet to find a shred of evidence in which he amalgamated his Catholicism with Buddhist tenets.

    Perhaps the company his IMAGE keeps these days is the problem. Merton (and Chardin) are loved by New-Agers, who have tried to commandeer their works and spirituality to their side. But that's not Merton or Chardin. That's just the New-Age automatons manipulating their stuff.

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  2. Merton--sometimes profound, sometimes pretensious, in my opinion.

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  3. Once when I was shopping for clothes with my two young daughters, I tried on clothes--that were not my usual style--"no, mom, that doesn't look like you." Both my daughters said to me. "But what if I want to change myself a little." "No mom, you can't." Sometimes the choices we make in the beginning, seem to take a life of their own--and breaking away from it all--especially the expectations of everyone around us is hard.

    Profound thoughts Terry.

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  4. Some profound insights, Master Nelson.

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  5. Fr. Thomas Merton had a very big impact upon me in my early life as a Catholic...my spiritual mentor, a Dominican cloistered nun, gave me the impetus to read him, as he had influenced her in the "center" of what it means to be a contemplative...in much of his early writings;
    his later writings were not so influencing (I think he was rather conflicted, but that's my opinion).
    I agree, Terry; he is a mixed bag.
    But he has some very important things to reflect upon.
    Thanks for the reminder, Terry.
    It just goes to show that we have to take the good from what we encounter and just discern it all through the lens of Holy Mother Church and Her tradition (both the good and the bad)...we're humans, after all; Jesus is everything!

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