“Perhaps strength doesn’t reside in having never been broken, but in the courage required to grow strong in the broken places.”
~ Kristen Jongen, Growing Wings
“The Lord has plucked up proud men by their roots, and planted the lowly peoples.” “He has put down the mighty.”
If I were more attentive to the word of God I would be much less troubled and disturbed by events of our time: not that I would be indifferent or passive, but I could gain strength of union with the deepest currents of history, the sacred currents, which run opposite to those on the surface a great deal of the time!
“Do not quarrel about a matter that does not concern you; and when sinners judge, do not sit in council with them.” (Ecclesiastes).
This especially strikes me: “Be wary, take very great care, because you are walking with your own downfall; when you hear such things, wake up and be vigilant.” It seems to me that at the moment I very much need this kind of “attention” and “listening,” for I have come to the most serious moments of my life.
– Thomas Merton, journal entry, May 11, 1965
Carlo Carretto – The thought that the affairs of the world, like those of the stars, are in God’s hands – and therefore in good hands – apart from being actually true – is something that should give great satisfaction to anyone who looks to the future with hope. It should be a source of faith, joyful hope, and, above all, of deep peace. What have I to fear if everything is guided and sustained by God? Why get so worried, as if the world were in the hands of me and my fellow human beings?
And yet it is so difficult to have genuine faith in God’s actions in the world. To refuse to believe it is one of the gravest temptations to which we are subjected on this earth.
Not that I must undertake a special project of self-transformation or that I must “work on myself.” In that regard, it would be better to forget it. Just go for walks, live in peace, let change come quietly and invisibly on the inside.
But I do have a past to break, with an accumulation of inertia, waste, wrong, foolishness, rot, junk, a great need of clarification, of mindfulness, or rather of no mind – a return to genuine practice, right effort, need to push on to the great doubt. Need for the spirit.
Hang on to the clear light!
– Thomas Merton, Journal entry, May 30, 1968
The extraordinary patience of things!
This beautiful place defaced with a crop of surburban houses-
How beautiful when we first beheld it,
Unbroken field of poppy and lupin walled with clean cliffs;
No intrusion but two or three horses pasturing,
Or a few milch cows rubbing their flanks on the outcrop rockheads-
Now the spoiler has come: does it care?
Not faintly. It has all time. It knows the people are a tide
That swells and in time will ebb, and all
Their works dissolve. Meanwhile the image of the pristine beauty
Lives in the very grain of the granite,
Safe as the endless ocean that climbs our cliff.-As for us:
We must uncenter our minds from ourselves;
We must unhumanize our views a little, and become confident
As the rock and ocean that we were made from.
– Robinson Jeffers