You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2012.

A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit.” Psalm: 51: 12

Merton’s Voice:

The new man lives in a world that is always being created and renewed.  He lives in this realm of renewal and creation.  He lives in life. 

Thomas Merton. The Intimate Merton, ed. Patrick Hart and Jonathan Montaldo. (New York: HarperCollins, 1999): 138.


I sought the LORD, and he answered me, delivered me from all my fears.”  Psalm: 34: 5

Merton’s Voice:

Fear is the knowledge of ourselves in the presence of God’s holiness. It is the knowledge of ourselves in His love, and it sees how far we are from being what His love would have us be. It knows Who He is and who we are!

Thomas Merton.  No Man Is An Island (New York: Harvest Book, 1983): 225

The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The decree of the LORD is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.” Psalm 19: 8

Merton’s Voice:

The hope of the Christian must be, like the hope of a child, pure and full of trust.

Thomas Merton. Faith and Violence. (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press: 1968): 27.


Make known to me your ways, LORD; teach me your paths. ” Psalm 25:4

Merton’s Voice:

The real purpose of meditation is this: to teach man how to work himself free of created things and temporal concerns, in which he finds only confusion and sorrow, and enter into a conscious and loving contact with God…

New Seeds of Contemplation. (New York: New Directions Books): 217


Incline your ear, LORD, and answer me.” Psalm 86:1 

Merton’s Voice:

What is the use of prayer if at the very moment of prayer, we have so little confidence in God that we are busy planning our own kind of answer to our prayer?

Thoughts in Solitude. (New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux): 24

You do not desire sacrifice or I would give it; a burnt offering you would not accept.”  Psalm 51: 18

Merton’s Voice:

He does not need our sacrifices, He asks for our selves.  And if He prescribes certain acts of obedience, it is not because obedience is the beginning and the end of everything.

No Man is an Island (New York: Harvest Book, 1983): 63



We like to make a distinction between our private and public lives and say, “Whatever I do in my private life is nobody else’s business.” But anyone trying to live a spiritual life will soon discover that the most personal is the most universal, the most hidden is the most public, and the most solitary is the most communal. What we live in the most intimate places of our beings is not just for us but for all people. That is why our inner lives are lives for others. That is why our solitude is a gift to our community, and that is why our most secret thoughts affect our common life.

Jesus says, “No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15). The most inner light is a light for the world. Let’s not have “double lives”; let us allow what we live in private to be known in public.

emphasis mine

Mansion of Memory, my new chapbook of poems from Rank Stranger Press, arrives today.   The chapbook sells for $11 (plus $2 postage).  Proceeds go to Bright Futures Joplin Tornado Fund to help with rebuilding costs in Joplin, MO, my hometown.

Please order a copy.  Contact me for where to send your check.  Thank you in advance.


He is like a tree planted near streams of water, that yields its fruit in season; Its leaves never wither; whatever he does prospers.”  Psalm 1: 3

Merton’s Voice:

She (Wisdom) is in all things like the air receiving the sunlight.  In her they prosper.  In her they glorify God.  In her they rejoice to reflect Him.  In her they are united with him.

A Merton Reader, ed. by Thomas P. McDonnell. (New York: Image Books, 1989): 510



February 2012