Day 28 – Forty Days with Thomas Merton

Day 28

One of the great tragedies of our time is that in our desperate incapacity to cope with the complexities of our world, we oversimplify every issue and reduce it to a neat ideological formula. Doubtless we have to do something in order to grasp things quickly and effectively. But unfortunately this “quick and effective grasp” too often turns out to be no grasp at all, or only a grasp on a shadow. The ideological formulas for which we are willing to tolerate and even provoke the destruction of entire nations may one day reveal themselves to have been the most complete deceptions….The American conscience is troubled by a sense of tragic ambiguity in our professed motives for massive intervention. Yet in the name of such tenuous and questionable motives we continue to bomb, to burn, and to kill because we think we have no alternative, and because we are reduced to a despairing trust in the assurance of “experts” in whom we have no real confidence.

— Thomas Merton – One of the Great Tragedies of our Time

Today:  St. Paul said, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  (Romans 12:18).  Mohandas Gandhi said, “We must become the change we want to see in the world.” Think about how you can become more intentional about living at peace with your world. It might be as simple as refusing to become offended by a snide remark. It may be to refuse to hurt back when you are hurt. How can you become the change you want to see in the world.  It’s important to identify it and “just do it.”

+Ed Jansen, OSB

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