Merton, Short and Sweet

“…to be unknown of God is altogether too much privacy.”

Thomas Merton (New Seeds of Contemplation)

19 thoughts on “Merton, Short and Sweet

  1. Great!

    As I was cleaning up yesterday, I found a book called Mornings with Merton. I’ll bet that quote is in there! As I was reading a bit of the 7 storey mountain, there was a passage about the Blessed Mother that made me think of you, Gab. I have to send you that quote, but it’s in Italian! If you have the book, you can easily find it in English, right? So I’ll just tell you more or less where it is, and translate the first line for reference, ok? Ill send it via email tonight. Ciao for now!

  2. Well, I had to Google that phrase rather than drive myself crazy — or bother a busy woman at the least, or bother two or three busy women and a priest for an elaboration. So — after that delicious cheese omelette you just set down for breakfast — here is where I found the fork, knife and napkin..

    For days (yes, only for days, lol) I’ve been thinking of how we must be and become exactly who God thinks we are. The false self creeps up on us, oh yes — ever rearing its ugly self-protection.
    πŸ™‚ Whew.. delicious. I’m beginning to like Mondays.

  3. I visited here earlier and have to admit i wasn’t so sure if i understood what Merton was saying…..but now thanks to Justme i understand it better….and am reminded of the truth about myself. Thanks, Gabrielle.

  4. Jesus says it, still, in so many ways.. and we hear it, still, in so many ways: “Come and see.” Oy, who can resist??! Praise God, this is why there was/is a Merton!

  5. Mike, welcome here. I like your site very much – the content, and how well you’ve organized it. I’ll be back to read it more thoroughly, and I hope you’ll join us here often too.

    Pia, I have quite a few of Merton’s books, but I actually don’t have Seven Storey Mountain. But I can easily get it from the library, so if you have time to email me with the quote you found, that would be great.

    JustMe, thank you so much for the link. I don’t own New Seeds of Contemplation either, but I’ve read it several times. I scribble down passages and short quotes, then of course I can’t remember the context! I liked the line near the bottom of the page you linked to, about “wrapping experiences around myself.”

    Hi, Lucy. You bring the chocolate croissants next time, okay? πŸ™‚

    Ann, yes, thanks to JustMe you have something comprehensible to work with. Next time just speak right up and say, Gab, I don’t know what the heck you’re getting at. πŸ™‚

    And now, thanks to Pia and JustMe’s comments, I think we will officially launch “Monday Morning with Merton” at the Haven.

  6. You know, the kids are always asking me what I want for Christmas, birthday, I always say, “Oh, uh.. hmm..” and they always groan (does that sound familiar?) — maybe I should say “Books, please” — and perhaps a couple more Merton books wouldn’t go amiss, for all I have of his is “No Man Is An Island.” (I, too, usually go to the library for this or that, G, but Merton actually is someone I read again and again over many years. He quietly maneuvers through crusted layers of existential cynicism to the little pilot light of love that wants a bellows.)

  7. That’s about all I ever want for Christmas too, but truth be told, my family would think I was nuts if they were to see the books I’d ask for, and the Catholic bookshops here don’t give gift certificates or gift cards. I’m so tired of being “the strange one”. But I’m used to it, so I guess I’ll just ask for a new set of oven mitts. πŸ˜‰

  8. Sounds very good to me, Owen. Sorry for the delay; comment moderation kicked in for no apparent reason.

    I always call it confession too; it’s just what I became used to growing up, yet I do very much like the name sacrament of Reconciliation as well. A very good book I found a few years ago is Dom Benedict Baur’s “Frequent Confession”; it really helps explain why and how frequent confession is beneficial, and it explains how to focus during confession on one or two particular areas, for example, that a person may be trying to make progress in. It’s really excellent, but maybe you already know about it since you worked in a Catholic bookstore, after all!

  9. Oh, I’ll bet you’re a fine cook, G.

    Well, dear Owen, if that won’t do it, nothin’ will.

    Dom Baur’s book sounds wonderful, G. I also liked JP II’s letter on Penance just a few years before he went Home. Fr. Hardon, or the Jesuits, anyway, have an extensive Examen that I look at from time to time. But do I ever print it out? No. *sigh..

    Our priests have to start calling us to the Reconciliation room from the podium, or it’s just not going to happen for most. Our penitential part in the Mass really isn’t enough to set us fully on the correct path.. it only helps ameliorate the venial sins so that we may receive Him, but as you say, there needs to be something with which to concentrate on a couple of particular areas. Our priests can’t be spiritual advisors to each and all of us, so we must do some of that discerning work for ourselves. Thank you for the book suggestion.

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