Morning Trip (342)

”Out here in the woods I can think of nothing except God and it is not so much that I think of Him either. I am as aware of Him as of the sun and the clouds and the blue sky and the thin cedar trees. When I first came out here, I was asleep…but I read a few lines from the Desert Fathers and then, after that, my whole being was full of serenity and vigilance.


Who am I writing this for, anyway? It is a waste of time! Enough to say that as long as I am out here I cannot think of Camaldoli either; no question of being here and dreaming of somewhere else. Engulfed in the simple and lucid actuality which is the afternoon: I mean God’s afternoon, this sacramental moment of time when the shadows will get longer and longer, and one small bird sings quietly in the cedars, and one car goes by in the remote distance and the oak leaves move in the wind.”

—— Thomas Merton, When the Trees Say Nothing, Writings on Nature

Morning Trip (246)

“God is more glorified by a man who uses the good things of this life in simplicity and with gratitude than by the nervous asceticism of someone who is agitated about every detail of his self-denial….His[the latter’s] struggle for perfection becomes a battle of wits with the Creator who made all things good.”
–Thomas Merton

Morning Trip (224)

“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them. For such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere, except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity, and love.”
–Thomas Merton