FedEx brought yet another delivery of books from publishers today. Hidden among the Styrofoam popcorn was a re-release of M. Basil Pennington’s book, “Engaging the World with Merton: On Retreat in Tom’s Hermitage.” Originally published in 1988 (20 years after Merton’s death), it has been released under a different publisher.
In the new introduction, the author wonders about Merton’s responses to our world today, and how at the time of his death his letters to author Boris Pasternak took up to six months to be received via the underground. But what grabbed me on this day when time is so short is this beautiful prayer from Merton quoted in the introduction that I will share with you:
“To be here with the silence of Sonship in my heart is to be a center in which all things converge upon you. That is surely enough for the time being. Therefore, Father, I beg you to keep me in this silence so that I may learn from it the word of your peace and the word of your mercy and the word of your gentleness to the world: and that through me perhaps your word of peace may make itself heard where it has not been possible for anyone to hear it for a long time.” Thomas Merton, 1915-1968
Peace, my friends.