Love is our true destiny.Thomas Merton, Love and Living. (Source)
We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone—
we find it with another.
We do not discover the secret of our lives by mere study
and calculation in our own isolated meditations.
The meaning of our life is a secret that is to be revealed
to us in love, by the one we love.
We will never be fully real until we let ourselves fall in love….
Love is the revelation of our deepest personal meaning, value and identity.
Pragmatism and positivism are therefore interested in the question how. Traditional metaphysics, whether scholastic (realist) or idealist, is interested in the question what (the essence). Existentialism wants to know who. It is interested in the authentic use of freedom by the concrete personal subject.The Other Side Of Despair, by Thomas Merton
I would like to “wrestle” a little more with this article but just wanted to get things started.
… silence is the best option.
BTW: I would love to visit Merton’s hermitage one day.
One of the moral diseases we communicate to one another in society comes from huddling together in the pale light of an insufficient answer to a question we are afraid to ask.Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island.
The pastor at the church that we attend likes to use examples from modern movies to illustrate his point. He does not actually listen to the questions being asked (by the movie) but rather is looking for validation of his point. They are not the question that the particular movie is asking but rather a “this person agrees with me” type of thing.
I think Merton is right – we are afraid to ask the difficult questions because asking it may reveal something about us. We like, rather, to gather around easy answers to difficult questions. Or, we like to escape the question by simply gathering round cliches. Or maybe we hide behind an “authority” and simply call for “blind faith”.