via Biblical Wisdom Day 40 last post on it
This is my opportunity to thank you Jonathan for following me for several years and sharing a number of my blog posts through his reblogs.
Several years ago, I met Parker Palmer and thanked him for introducing me to other writers and thinkers, including Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran priest who refused to not speak out against the Nazis, was imprisoned, and executed hours before the Third Reich was defeated.
In the original post shared by Jonathan, there are several questions to consider and reflection activities and this brings me back to Parker Palmer who introduced me to Thomas Merton who I read extensively.
Yesterday, Kathy and I went shopping at a small store where we are visiting. It has a Christian component to part of their retail focus with many books and I purchased two more Thomas Merton books. Kathy said, “you don’t have them all” after I joked “there is no such thing as too many Thomas Merton books.” The one book is similar to the how the shared post is structured. It is called A Course in Christian Mysticism and has reflective questions to consider in written and oral ways. The second book is called When the Trees Say Nothing: Writings on Nature.
The second book has a short postscript from a section in Hagia Sophia called Emblems of a Season of Fury (p. 61), referring to the etymology of wisdom. It is as follows:
There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden wholeness. This mysterious Unity and Integrity is Wisdom, the Mother of all, Natura naturans. There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fount of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being, welcoming me tenderly, saluting me with indescribable humility. This is at once my own being, my own nature, and the Gift of my Creator’s Thought and Art within me, speaking as Hagia Sophia, speaking as my sister, Wisdom.
I am awakened, I am born again at the voice of this my Sister, sent to me from the depths of the divine fecundity.
We are not outside of Nature and it is not outside of us. We are unified and integrated with the wonder and fertility of Nature, not separate.
We took this picture in Phoenix. You can see the urban piece in the top half of the picture just short of the far hill. Often, I do not have to go far to recognize Nature is there in the urban sprawl. It does not have to be somewhere exotic and distant. It is where we each find meaningful moments of solitude with and without the company of others. It is near at hand. For me, the questions always centre around “if it is close at hand, how do I conserve what is immediate? How do I become awake to the divine fecundity in my daily, often busy life?”
Wonderful post, Ivon. Palmer and Merton are favorites. What a treat for you to have met Parker Palmer. I enjoy his writings so very much.
Thank you Carrie. Meeting Parker was a bucket list thing for me and he is as wonderful as his writing is. We talked about Merton and had the same question, “what would the Catholic Church, as an institution, say about his writing today.
I can imagine that was a rich conversation. I can’t help but wonder the same about what Richard Rohr writes about today. One of the things I deeply appreciate about Parker Palmer is his honesty about his depression. It opened me to observing my past bouts with depression in a very different way. What a wonderful opportunity to meet such an amazing soul!
I think we need those people who tell us and are open about their battles and sufferings. It makes me, at least, realize it might be OK to admit my own struggles. I wonder the same about Richard Rohr.
I do like Merton as well. And remember Phoenix 50+ years ago when I was a kid. we would camp near there on the desert and watch the ball lightning roll. I was horrified when that city became what it is today, but what can one do? 🌺
When we are in Pheonix, we are generally at the west end of the valley away from the core. It is better there and these space are much more accessible to hike around.
Good to know. 🤗
Beautiful words. 🙂
Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
SAD TO SEE AN APPARENT END..BLESSINGS BE UNTO YOU!
IS THIS THE LAST ;POST ON THIS TOPIC…OR YOUR LAST POST? SURE HOPE I HAVEN’T DRIVEN YOU AWAY FROM YOUR FINE BLOGGING!
You have not. I will be back.
WHEW! GOOD DEAL!
I know all those authors, but not all those books. I’ll have to check them out!
Merton still has books coming out based on his writings. The one about mysticism is organized and edited, but is his work.
Wow. Didn’t know that, Ivon!