photo by Thomas Merton
This is too good not to share.
"At Thomas Merton's Hermitage". Franciscan priest, Fr. Murray Bodo, spends 6 days in the spring of 1995 at Merton's hermitage at Gethsemani. The recounting of his contemplative explorations in Merton's space is profoundly insightful for those who seek a more silent and solitary balance to contemporary living and who like Merton lore.
For example, I found it intriguing to see what Merton had on his bookshelf as he left for Asia:
On the table rest a few books I’ve pulled off the shelf from the original collection Merton had here when he left for the Far East in 1968: The Portable Thoreau, The Mirror of Simple Souls by an unknown French mystic of the thirteenth century, Early Fathers from the Philokalia, Western Mysticism, The Mediaeval Mystics of England, The Flight from God by Max Picard, The Ancrene Riwle, The Book of the Poor in Spirit by a Friend of God (fourteenth century), A Guide to Rhineland Mysticism, A Treasury of Russian Spirituality, The Teaching of SS. Augustine, Gregory, and Bernard.Or, the way the way that time alone awakens one to the simple clarity of just being alive:
"... I putter about the hermitage, make the bed, wash the breakfast dishes, sweep the porch; and something begins to order itself inside me as I order my external world. The ordering and puttering become a kind of prayer, a way of attending to the human which is a way of attending to the divine, charged as we are and the world is with the presence of God.
Domestic chores also become simply something to do. One cannot pray and meditate unendingly. There is a rhythm to life lived anywhere that calms the heart if we surrender to the necessities of the world around us and the world within."
It's just an excellent article and I'm honored to add it to this eclectic collection of contemplative writing. This is a really good find. Thanks, Brian!