Saturday, January 21, 2017

Inner and Outer Violence

Thomas Merton

“The real focus of American violence is not in esoteric groups but in the very culture itself, its mass media, its extreme individualism and competitiveness, its inflated myths of virility and toughness, and its overwhelming preoccupation with the power of nuclear, chemical, bacteriological, and psychological overkill. If we live in what is essentially a culture of overkill, how can we be surprised at finding violence in it? Can we get to the root of the trouble? In my opinion, the best way to do it would have been the classic way of religious humanism and non-violence exemplified by Gandhi."

Thomas Merton on Peace 

(As I sit here writing today (Thursday the 19th) I have no idea how tomorrow and the next few days will unfold. Some of you, like me, are concerned and upset about the new president and his policies.  As contemplatives and God-centered people, we want to make good use of everything in life. Can we see now as the chance for a deepening  of faith? Can we live from faith's point of view, knowing that God is our only security, and that we answer to and depend upon a much Higher Authority, and that Christ's kingdom is not of this world?)


  1. Now that "tomorrow" has come, I feel the only natural thing to do is live a contemplative life. I really do not feel called to action in the same way many do - protesting, marching, signing petitions. I now feel like giving up.

  2. If "giving up" means "Let go and let God", I'm with you. Otherwise, no so much. How to pay attention when necessary, without losing hope...

  3. Doing what is required in the moment seems natural. I have no hope at all.


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