Friday, June 20, 2014

The Peril of Forgetting the Real Values of the World

Red flower on a vine

Located in an obscure shack he called a "hermitage" Thomas Merton lived, as best he could, a life of prayer, solitude, God-seeking and being-sought-out by God. 

He never watched TV (he didn't have one). Merton lived disconnected from the media. Almost entirely, this is good. There is little redeeming value to anything that's media-driven today. Of course that's an exaggeration, but media-culturewise we're approaching, asymptotically, spiritual nothingness. Merton saw this coming and chose to live off the curve.

The result was that people sought Merton out. Many. People looked to Merton for a wisdom that was not tweeted in short sentences no one can unpack, for a knowing that was non-googled or non-cut-and-pasted. Merton had a critical knowledge that emerged from critical thinking ability and vast spiritual commitment. In addition to daily Scripture reading and meditating, Merton is one of the few I look to each day. I'm still seeking him out for wisdom.

Out of the depths of Scripture-saturated solitude he writes something like this.

"Our indifference to the real values in the world justifies our petty attraction to its false values. When we forget the Parousia and the Kingdom of God in the world, we can, we think, safely be businessmen and make money. Those who love the world in the wrong sense love it for themselves, exploit it for themselves. Those who truly love it develop it, work in it for God, that God may reveal Himself in it."
-August 26, 1960, in A Year with Thomas Merton, Kindle Locations 4145-4148

Today engage God deeply. And so love the world in the right way.

Merton & his hermitage