"One of the first signs of a saint may well be the fact that other people do not know what to make of him. In fact, they are not sure whether or not he is crazy or only proud; but it must at least be pride to be haunted by some individual ideal which nobody but God really comprehends. And he has inescapable difficulties in applying all the abstract norms of' perfection' to his own life. He cannot seem to make his life fit in withthe books.
Sometimes his case is so bad that no monastary will keep him. He has to be dismissed, sent back to the world, like Benedict Joseph Labre, who wanted to be a Trappist and a Carthusian and succeeded in neither. He finally ended up as a tramp. He died in some street in Rome.
And yet the only canonized saint, venerated by the whole Church, who lived either as a Cisterican or a Carthusian since the Middle Ages is St. Benedict Joseph Labre."
Thursday, June 18, 2009
-- Thomas Merton
New Seeds of Contemplationend of the "Integrity” chapter, p. 105 in the Shambala edition
More information about St. Benedict Joseph Labre is here.
HT to Jim Forest
Czeslaw Milosz, The Paris Review "The thing is then not to struggle to work out the 'laws' of a mysterious force alien ...
Photo by Bryan Sherwood Bryan Sherwood sent me this photo today. We had been talking about restaurants in Bardstown and I recommended Co...
“Abbot Lot came to Abbot Joseph and said: Father, according as I am able, I keep my little rule, and my little fast, my prayer, meditation a...
finding the right culture, finding the ‘’right’ religion, is important, as a personal choice; but more important is the progress you make —...