Theology of love and thomas merton

My friend and mentor Charles Brandt recently suggested for me to blog about the pacifist Catholic monk Thomas Merton, who had originally been an inspiration to Charles – they corresponded in the 60’s. Tom advised Charles not to enter a monastery, but rather to pray and act amidst the world, living life as a hermit. Viewers and readers who are familiar with the Brandt series (here) will recognize – and so it goes for Charles. . . In regards to Thomas Merton, this post introduces an ongoing series that will highlight his incredible work and writings, as well.

Thomas (Fr. Louis) is buried at the Abbey of Gethsemani and it was there in 1996 the Dalai Lama said:

I always consider myself as one of [Thomas Merton’s] Buddhist brothers. So … I always remember him, and I always admire his activities and his life-style. Since my meeting with him … I really follow some of his examples … So for the rest of my life, the impact of meeting him will remain until my last breath. I really want to state that I make this commitment, and this will remain until my last breath.

Thomas Merton died in 1968 at the age of 53 – January 31st would be his 100th birthday. 2015 will be a centenary of Merton activities. If one is to consider the present state of the world – human and ecological atrocities happening daily – Merton’s contemplative reflection, wisdom and love towards all of heaven and earth, has a more relevant urgency today, as it ever did.

through the luminary lens

Starry nihgt over a Northern Vancouver Island lake

When we are alone on a starlit night,


when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove

of junipers to rest and eat;

A little girl and boyd as an angel and a shepard at a christmas play

when we see children in a moment when they are really children . . .

Girl dancing in a colorful costume on day of the dead

. . . all these provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.

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10 thoughts on “COSMIC DANCE and THOMAS MERTON

    • Hi Annette – I was away working for a few days. Thanks for the comment. I found a lovely photo of Thomas Merton next to a very young Dalai Lama that I will hopefully post some where along in the series about Merton.

      Also, in all honesty, I don’t know when or if I will post on Minimalism as I said I would. I wanted to get that off my chest. I have a bit of a worrisome health issue and have some some soul searching and regrouping of my thoughts and direction. I do appreciate your writing about Minimalism and hope you’re doing well. Also loved your your recent poem, ending with “this to shall pass.”

      Sincerely – Bruce

  1. I am one of the people who are eternally grateful to Father Charles for choosing to live his hermit lifestyle. He introduced me to the writings of Thomas Merton. Father Charles’ wisdom and kindness have guided me to an appreciation of connection between the spiritual and natural world. I hope to share this appreciation with others along my path.

    • Thanks Kathryn for sharing your experience with both Charles Brandt and Thomas Merton. They are truly inspiring human beings. Charles has quietly guided me on a few occasions when I have felt unsure and even hopeless, and Tom Merton writings and witness (as does Charles) always make me reflect more deeply. It is good to hear we are not alone in this, our earthly and spiritual journeys, and that through this the world may be better for it.

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