Out here in the woods I can think of nothing except God, and it is not so much that I think of Him either. I am as aware of Him as of the sun and the clouds and the blue sky and the thin cedar trees.
Engulfed in the simple lucid actuality which is the afternoon: I mean God’s afternoon, this sacramental moment of time when the shadows will get longer and longer, and one small bird sings quietly in the cedars, and one car goes by in the remote distance and the oak leaves move in the wind.
High up in the summer sky I watch the silent flight of a vulture, and the day goes by in prayer. This solitude confirms my call to solitude. The more I am in it, the more I love it. One day it will possess me entirely and no man will ever see me again.
Thomas Merton, journal entry, September 15, 1952
God is mirrored in all things like sunlight in clean water: but if I try to drink the light, I only shatter the reflection.
– Thomas Merton, journal entry, September 14, 1949
Around the corner from Winslow Homer’s studio. Light like no other place on earth.
It’s a habit of yours to walk slowly.
You hold a grudge for years.
With such heaviness, how can you expect to be modest?
With such attachments, do you expect to arrive anywhere?
Be wide as the air to learn a secret.
Right now you’re equal portions clay
and water, thick mud.
Abraham learned how the sun and moon and the stars all set.
He said, No longer will I try to assign partners for God.
You are so weak. Give up to grace.
The ocean takes care of each wave
till it gets to shore.
You need more help than you know.
You’re trying to live your life in open scaffolding.
Say Bismillah, In the name of God,
as a priest does when offering an animal.
Bismillah your old self
to find your real name.
Mockingbirds flitting still
from limb to stone.
A hawk whistles, high
alone. Cardinals gone.
Other morning birds
gone, songs done.
Now two crows,
cawing in the pines –
recall a memory of a boy –
clear, full, fine.
This, from 4 years ago today.
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.