By Thomas Merton
The 3rd quantity of Thomas Merton's journals chronicles Merton's makes an attempt to reconcile his hope for solitude and contemplation with the calls for of his new-found big name prestige in the strictures of traditional monastic life.
Read or Download A Search for Solitude: Pursuing the Monk's True LifeThe Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 3: 1952-1960 (Merton, Thomas Journal of Thomas Merton) PDF
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Extra resources for A Search for Solitude: Pursuing the Monk's True LifeThe Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 3: 1952-1960 (Merton, Thomas Journal of Thomas Merton)
In any case, the question of solitude is closer to a solution. Christmas morning, after my three Masses, I felt sure Jesus wanted me to press forward and really ask for solitude. I had composed a letter to Rev. Father asking to be allowed to be a hermit, here or elsewhere, at the end of three years. But on Christmas day Rev. Father fell ill. I held on to the letter. Meanwhile Dr. Law came down and I saw him. He said don’t wait three years: go now. It means a gradual start. A week at a time in the fixed-up shanty.
17 But finally I am grateful to You, O God, because I am more often alone. Not that I run away from them. Yet sometimes I do not know myself with them. At other times I find myself in them and with them. Indeed, direction is sometimes an experiment in recognition: they recognize something new in themselves and I in myself: for God recognizes Himself in us. February 14, 1953 Today we commemorate Blessed Conrad–one of the Cistercian hermits. I might as well admit that in the novitiate I did not like the hermits of our Order.
John] Cassian has become tremendous, in a site which makes him irritable. 30 If I were only here always! Cold mornings, hot afternoons. Came out the other day (Sexagesima Sunday) when there was thick frost on the ground but the sun was already warm. The Spirit is alone here with the silence of the world. St. Anne’s is like a rampart between two existences. On one side I know the community to which I must return. And I can return to it with love. But to return seems like a waste. It is a waste I offer to God.
A Search for Solitude: Pursuing the Monk's True LifeThe Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 3: 1952-1960 (Merton, Thomas Journal of Thomas Merton) by Thomas Merton