4 Wachtel, Samuel

Without realizing it, I walked into a snowbank covering some steps, which meant a really uneven depth of snow. As I worked my way out of it, I realized I was having fun.


I don’t know that I can adequately summarize my feelings about Merton in a single paragraph. I grew up around a lot of Catholics who thought they were  “activistic, antimystical, antimetaphysical, which eschews well-defined and concret forms, and which tends to identify [themselves] with active, progressive, even revolutionary movements,” people for whom “It matters very much where you claim to be going, what button you wear, whom you vote for”  (Merton, 29). They were a group of people who felt very radical for having cast off outdated, formalistic forms of worship and for having embraced the almost atheistic soul of Christianity as focused on social justice. This was not particularly compelling to me. Where I have always felt at home as a Catholic was with the feelings and the visions–my confirmation saint was Saint Joan of Arc, whose entire life was built on ecstatic hallucination. I am too rational to be won over by what Merton would refer to as a “Cartesian” mindset arguing towards compassion and social justice-down the road of analysis always lies nihilism. Merton seems to agree with me, on page 22 and 23 showing pretty clearly that all our notions of thinking about God are doomed to end in atheism. Instead, Merton’s flirtation with a new mysticism really struck a chord with me.



Sorry about the image being sideways-I was working on a computer that doesn’t have Word (using google drive) and Drive doesn’t let me rotate images 🙁

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