Category: Reading and Writing

Honesty and Memoir

I’ve been re-reading Merton’s Conjectures this week. I never cease to be at once laid low and yet set free when I read Merton. What amazing clarity of thought concerning the nature and relationship of Man to God. Two weeks ago I read Philip Caputo’s 1977...

Philip Caputo on Writing

  No writer ever truly succeeds. The disparity between the work conceived and the work completed is always too great, and the writer merely achieves an acceptable level of failure. — A Rumor of War

The Gold Star Children

I could make this into a very long post, but I will keep it brief and let the quote’s elegant simplicity speak for itself. I dedicate it, with a profound sorrow and heartfelt respect, to children—and their soldier-fathers who have fallen in battle: They are the...

Merton Monday 38

  In the long run, no one can show another the error that is within him, unless the other is convinced that his critic first sees and loves the good that is within him. So while we are perfectly willing to tell our adversary he is...

Merton Monday 37

  [one must] choose life, and the things that favor life. This means respect for every living thing, but especially for every man, made in the image of God. Respect for man even in his blindness and in his confusion, even when he may do evil....

Merton Monday 36

  The Truth man needs is not a philosopher’s abstraction, but God Himself. The paradox of contemplation is that God is never really known unless He is also loved. And we cannot love Him unless we do His will. This explains why modern man, who knows...

Merton Monday 35

  We must know the truth, and we must love the truth we know, and we must act according to the measure of our love. — The Ascent to Truth, prologue

Merton Monday 33

And now for the second part of last week’s Merton Monday: Yet we must not deal in too negative a fashion even with the “external self.” This self is not by nature evil, and the fact that it is unsubstantial is not to be imputed to...