Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jim Forest British Columbia talks

From Jim Forest, always a great source for Merton commentary and lore:

Here are links to the texts of several talks given during my two-week stay in British Columbia. All but the last -- on Erasmus -- have a Merton connection. (My host was the Thomas Merton Society of Canada.) There was one other talk given at Holy Nativity Orthodox Church, but it was given without a written text.

Thomas Merton: Peacemaker in a Time of War

An Army that Sheds No Blood: Thomas Merton’s Response to War

(The first of the two Merton peace-related essays, with its Indiana Jones beginning, was intended for an audience that would include many people not all that familiar with Merton.)

Thomas Merton: Peacemaker in a Divided Christendom:

We Will All Be Changed: Reflections on the Transfiguration

Give Peace a Chance: Peacemaking as common ground:

Does Erasmus have anything to teach us in the 21st century?

A photo journal kept while I was in Canada:

Thanks, Jim!

Friday, March 13, 2009

the power of life

If "freedom" means purely and simply an uncontrolled power to make money in every possible way, regardless of consequences, then freedom becomes synonymous with ruthless, mindless and absolute exploitation...

The psychological root of it is doubtless in the profound dehumanization and alienation of modern Western man, who has gradually come to mistake the artificial value of inert objects and abstractions (goods, money, property) for the power of life itself, and who is willing to place immediate profit above everything else. Money is more important, more alive than life, including the lfe and happiness of his closest and most intimate companions. This he can always justify by a legalistic ethic or a casuistical formula of some sort, but his formulas themselves betray him and eventually lose even the meaning which has been arbitrarily forced upon them.

~Thomas Merton, re-excerpted & edited from an article that appeared in the Catholic World, December 2008; excerpted originally in the CW, June 1968