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A spiritual reflection on the Centenary of Thomas Merton – Part 1

via A spiritual reflection on the Centenary of Thomas Merton – Part 1

Bruce posts wonderful text, accompanied by exceptional images. This post caught my eye as I looked through Bruce’s blog. It is about Thomas Merton and his enduring work as a pacifist, activist and support of inter-faith dialogue.

I read Merton and book about his writings frequently. I grew up in the shadow of Vatican II, which promoted inter-faith dialogue and Merton, Brother David Steindel-Rast, Karen Armstrong, Thich Nhat Hanh, etc. attract me to their work.

I find them to be prophetic and mystical, often signaling challenges we will face long before they are evident to most of us. For example, Bruce included a wonderful quote from a letter Merton wrote to Rachel Carson after reading Silent Spring. Both offered prophetic views, as mystics, of a world to come and challenges we faced in the 1950’s.

I leave you with this quote from Thomas Merton and wish each of you the best. However, we each celebrate we need to share our love for each other and the world we share with each other.

The beginning of love
is the will to let those we love
be perfectly themselves,
the resolution not to twist them
to fit our own image.”
~Thomas Merton

Daffodils, Lake, and Mountain in Glacier

I share this image often. Kathy took it in Glacier National Park. She shared it with me out of love and I share it with my love for the people who will see it and nature we are stewards of, echoing Wendell Berry when we say: We Do Not Inherit the Earth from Our Ancestors; We Borrow It from Our Children


17 responses »

  1. A lovely post, Ivon. The picture is simply beautiful and oh, how I love and appreciate the words of all you mention in your post. Sending my best wishes to you and yours. 💟☮️

  2. Thank you for your kindness throughout the year and your wonderful posts.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

  3. Love the poem, love the photo and love the post. Happy holidays Ivon

  4. Such a thoughtful post. Fills me with hope. Thank you.


  5. Kind thanks for this thoughtful reflection on Thomas Merton and your connection to my own personal reflection. I’m always amazed how timeless and prophetic Merton is, and I often return to his writings, thoughts and prayers for inspiration.

    You may be interested in this article and link: It is quite controversial to some Merton “scholars” but there is lots of evidence supporting that Merton’s death was not accidental, but actually an assassination. I haven’t read the book referred to yet, though I’ve looked at lots of articles about it… including this article from Matthew Fox which was written about the same time I wrote my blog post…

    Again, thanks for this post on Merton, and to you and Kathy and your family continue your own good works as ‘companions on the journey”… with peace, love and Christmas greetings…. Bruce

  6. Beautiful Ivon. I love the quote by Thomas Merton. If everyone thought that way–especially family, what a wonderful world it would be.

    • Thank you Michele. Thomas Merton has many wonderful quotes, which our lives and how we might choose to live. They often begin with the premise that, though we live in the company of others, we are each unique.

  7. Poignant Merton quote, thanks.


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