Friday, August 13, 2010

Thomas Merton, 14 years before Vatican II

I'm reading The Sign of Jonas, which is a very personal journal that Thomas Merton kept from 1947 to 1952, about his life in the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemani.  He writes something I want to quote or remember on just about every page.  Here's a paragraph from September 1948, ending with a throwaway remark that just nails it.

Evelyn Waugh wanted to edit the English edition of The Seven Storey Mountain and has apparently already done so.  I am glad.  Also it seems he is going to do a feature for Life on the Church in America.  The idea seems to be that there is a great Catholic revival in this country and that the future of the Church depends on us.  That is all news to me.  If we are supposed to be reviving, where are our saints?


Athanasius contra mundum said...

We don't usually recognize the saints among us until they have come and gone.

Rachel Gray said...

Some saints were like that... St. Faustina, St. Therese, St. Gianna Molla... And others were famous in their own lifetimes and led revivals: St. Francis of Assisi, St. Dominic, St. Jean Vianney, Mother Teresa.

JimAroo said...

Famous in their time - my 3 favorite saints who weren't martyrs:
Ignatius of Loyola
Francis de Sales
Philip Neri

Maybe I should have lived in the 16th Century!

St. John of the Cross said " A soul without a director is like a kindled coal which, left by itself, cools instead of burning."
May Thomas Merton rest in peace.

Rachel Gray said...

And the 16th century had Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Juan Diego, and a bunch of other saints I've forgotten-- what a century. The Catholic revival didn't come without disaster and suffering, though...