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Thu, Sep. 22nd, 2005, 11:02 pm

“The dread of being open to the ideas of others generally comes from our hidden insecurity about our own convictions. We fear that we may be “converted” – or perverted – by a pernicious doctrine. On the other hand, if we are mature and objective in our open-mindedness, we may find that viewing things from a basically different perspective – that of our adversary – we discover our own truth in a new light and are able to understand our own ideal more realistically.

Our willingness to take an alternative approach to a problem will perhaps relax the obsessive fixation of the adversary on his view, which he believes is the only reasonable possibility and which he is determined to impose on everyone else by coercion…This mission of Christian humility in social life is not merely to edify, but to keep minds open to many alternatives. The rigidity of a certain type of Christian thought has seriously impaired this capacity, which nonviolence must recover. ”

From Passion For Peace

Wed, Nov. 16th, 2005 02:07 am (UTC)

Thank you for posting these wonderful Merton Quotes.

It is definitely important to be unafraid of learning about viewpoints of other cultures and religions. It makes one much more understanding and available to everyone of all walks of life!
I went to a very diverse art school and learned this lesson there- Also the importance of believing firmly enough in your faith in Christ- being secure enough in it that you do not feel threatened by other beliefs and secure in who you are in Christ, in God- enough to not have to talk about it to people; but live it out.

Sun, Nov. 27th, 2005 07:18 am (UTC)

I have been a follower of Merton for sometime. Not long ago, when I lived in Nashville, TN, I visited The Lady of Gethsemani (near Bardstown, KY) and saw Fr. Merton's grave. The monastery was beautiful. While I was there...I bought a video of Thomas Merton...and I got to hear his actual voice for the first time.

I used to stay for periods of time at Mepkin Abbey, a monastery outside of Charleston, SC, when I was an Ecumenical Chairperson in South Carolina. Mepkin was originally a Revolutionary Rice Plantation...and the monastery was started my The Lady of Gethsemani.

One of my favorite quotes of Merton is, "The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived." (Thoughts In Solitude, 1956)