Monday, March 11, 2013

Careers and International Bestselling, 7-Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton

Careers were chosen, vocations increased, and, paths of life were selected more easily after reading Trappist monk Thomas Merton's bestselling, 7-Storey Mountain.

In numerous languages in his best-selling book on his own story, struggles in his choice of life, career changes, and more, Merton notes:

"The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of others!  A weird life it is, indeed, to be living always in somebody else's imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could at last become real!"

So real.  And, true.  Merton is such a master at living.  And, living wisely and well, it seems to me.

And, in another place in his same, 7-Storey Mountains, Merton writes:

"It is only the infinite mercy and love of God that has prevented us from tearing ourselves to pieces and destroying His entire creation long ago.  People seem to think that it is in some way a proof that no merciful God exists, if we have so many wars."

In a confession-like admission, Merton concludes while away from God, having grown up in a home where his parents showed little or no sign of faith:

"I did not even know who Christ was, that He was God.  I had not the faintest idea that there existed such a thing as the Blessed Sacrament."

Even after many years of education, teaching, and searching his own path, he said:

"And men and women are so poor in intellect that a few cold chills down their spine will be enough to keep them from every finding out the truth about anything."

Since 9/11, fear does that also to us, it appears to me.  Fear, however, shuts us down totally in a frozen state of being.  Scared stiff, you may say.

How true, my being kept nodding to Merton's words.

Finally, in his own attempts to bridge spiritualities of the East and the West, long before his unfortunate death in 1968 in Thailand, in the same classic best seller, Merton mentioned:

"The Hindus are not looking for us to send them those who will build schools and hospitals, although those things are good and useful in themselves--and perhaps very badly needed in India: they want to know if we have any saints to send them."

I'm sure that we could respond affirmatively, even in this day.  Saints are among us.
Perhaps you are one!

After all, equipping people with skills of love for saintliness and holiness of life by way of prayer, and more, is what believers do best, or, at least should do, no?

What a book is 7-Storey Mountain.

Why not read it.

Or, re-read it, and recommend it to someone.

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