Saturday, December 10, 2011


The things we really need come to us only as gifts, 
and in order to receive them as gifts, 
we have to be open. 

In order to be open we have to renounce ourselves, 
in a sense we have to die to our image of ourselves, 
our autonomy, our fixation upon our self-willed destiny. 

We have to be able to relax the psychic 
and spiritual cramp which knots us in the painful, 
vulnerable, helpless “I” that is all we know of ourselves

~ Thomas Merton
sketch by catherine doherty

On this day in 1941 Thomas Merton arrived at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani 
and on this day in 1968 he died in Thailand while participating in a conference of Benedictine and Trappist monks. In the 27 years between those two events he wrote a succession of books which have touched many lives.


erin said...

In order to be open we have to renounce ourselves

i repeat this for it bears repeating.


Laura said...

Thank you for posting this. Merton is so important, I think. Your blog is lovely. I am glad you liked the Jane Hirshfield poem I posted.