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Words of Wisdom

Silence, Solitude and Wisdom: From Thoughts in Solitude by the Reverend Thomas Merton (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

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The Reverend Thomas Merton, an important Catholic mystic and spiritual thinker, was born in 1915, to a New Zealand father and an American mother. The many life situations he encountered in his youth led him to explore religion and spirituality and eventually to devote his life to God by becoming a monk, and later a deacon, at the Abbey of Gethsemani, a part of the Order of Trappists, in Kentucky, USA. Believing in the equality of all religions, Thomas Merton became deeply interested in Eastern traditions in the later years of his life. He also held lively discourses with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Today we will present excerpts from Thomas Merton’s book, “Thoughts in Solitude.”

“It is necessary to name Him Whose silence I share and worship, for in His silence He also speaks my own name. He alone knows my name, in which I also know His name. For in the instant in which He calls me ‘my son’ I am aware of Him as ‘my Father.’ This recognition is, in me, an act, in Him a Person. The act in me is the movement of His Person, His Spirit, His Love, within me.”

“To fear God is the fulness of wisdom, and fullness is from the fruits thereof… The fear of the Lord is a crown of wisdom, filling up peace and the fruit of salvation… Son, if thou desire wisdom, keep justice, and God will give her to thee…”

“In the depths of our being is God Who commands us to live and to be. But we do not find Him merely by finding our own being.” “Thus, in the depths of our being He has placed the light of conscience which tells us the law of life. Life is not life unless it conforms to this law which is the will of God. To live by this light is all of man, for thus man comes to live in God and by God.”

“Hence the beginning of wisdom is the confession of sin. This confession gains for us the mercy of God. It makes the light of His truth shine in our conscience, without which we cannot avoid sin. It brings the strength of His grace into our souls, binding the action of our wills to the truth in our intelligence.”
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