Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lectio Divina - One Hundred and Forty-One

Thomas Merton, from A Silent Action: Engagements with Thomas Merton, by Rowan Williams.  Fons Vitae 2011.

I can no longer see the ultimate meaning of a man’s life in terms of either “being a poet” or “being contemplative” or even in a certain sense “being a saint,” (although that is the only thing to be).  It must be something much more immediate than that.  I – and every other person in the world– must say “I have my own special peculiar destiny which no one else has had or ever will have.  There exists for me a particular goal, a fulfillment which must be all my own – nobody else’s– and it does not really identify that destiny to put it under some category – “poet,” “monk,” “hermit.”  Because my own individual destiny is a meeting, an encounter with God that He has destined for me alone.  His glory in me will be to receive from me something which He can never receive from anyone else.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lectio Divina - One hundred and Forty

Tao Te Ching, trans. Stephen Mitchell. New York: Harper Perennial, 1982, #80.

If a country is governed wisely,

its inhabitants will be content.

They enjoy the labor of their hands

and don’t waste time inventing

labor-saving machines.

Since they dearly love their homes,

they aren’t interested in travel.

There may be a few wagons and boats,

but these don’t go anywhere.

There may be an arsenal of weapons,

but nobody ever uses them.

People enjoy their food,

take pleasure in being with their families,

spend weekends working in their gardens,

delight in the doings of the neighborhood.

And even though the next country is so close

that people can hear its roosters crowing and its dogs barking,

they are content to die of old age

without ever having gone to see it.