Thursday, May 8, 2008

prayer in america

“It is not easy to talk of prayer in a world where a President claims he prays for light in his decisions and then decides on genocidal attacks upon a small nation. And where a Catholic Bishop praises this as a “work of love.”

Paralyzing incomprehension – what does one do when he realizes he is part of an organization whose members systematically try to “make a fool of God”? I suppose I begin by recognizing that I have done it as much as the best of them …”

-Thomas Merton, July 5, 1968, pp. 138-139, The Other Side of the Mountain


  1. "I have done it as much as the best of them." Was he thinking in part of "The Seven Story Mountain" in which he wrote defenses of the traditional church that he later regreted?

  2. I don't think that he means apologetics, Marc, but the general emotional piety within which much of his earlier writings were couched. Not just 7 Story Mtn - Ascent to Truth, etc.

    In his later years Merton's writing was not laden with the myopic platitudes or complacencies of routine piety that colored much of the earlier writing.


From Dorothy Day’s editorial in the Catholic Worker on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.