The Guest House

The Guest House This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honourably. […]

Turning stones

How far skims the stone on the water? big bounces, many bounces, final skip each stone weighed with outstretched arm for howls of laughter for cries of pain. How deep gashes the body with violent pelt? Turning stones on the one hand to the other (weaker) turns random stones from arsenal to cairn no stone unturned Richard Beck posts […]

Merton on sanity

We can no longer assume that because a man is “sane” he is therefore in his “right mind.” The whole concept of sanity in a society where spiritual values have lost their meaning is itself meaningless…

And so I ask myself: what is the meaning of a concept of sanity that excludes love, considers it irrelevant, and destroys our capacity to love other human beings, to respond to their needs and their sufferings, to recognize them also as persons, to apprehend their pain as one’s own? Evidently this is not necessary for “sanity” at all.
The worst error is to imagine that a Christian must try to be “sane” like everybody else, that we belong in our kind of society.

From Thomas Merton, Raids on the Unspeakable

 

 

A Devout Meditation in Memory of Adolf Eichmann

Overcommitment

To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence. The frenzy of the activist neutralises his work for peace. It destroys his own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.

Thomas Merton in Confessions of a Guilty Bystander

Gimme a man after midnight

Gimme a man after midnight. Today we are given such a man as our liturgical calendar encourages us to celebrate and embrace the life of Saint John of the Cross. Through his writings he speaks to us of things we often deny and of which we are so frightened that we don’t even go there. For […]

Spiritual directors

Nouwen in Reaching Out is talking about the lack of spiritual directors. I think I would want to include other consultative roles as well which enable our supervision. “At least part of the reason for this lack .. is that we ourselves do not appeal to our fellow human beings in such a way as to […]

Surplus of meaning

a work of art in the Cheshire countryside It has been good to be involved in the development of an Arts & Faith Network (for the Diocese of Chester), and to be “breathing space” at Stephen Broadbent’s studio yesterday with textile artists, stained glass artists, wordsmiths, dancers, painters, sculptors, actors, authors, poets, cooks, singers, preachers […]