Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Tag Archive for ‘Merton’

What is Success?

A few years ago a man who was compiling a book entitled Success wrote and asked me to contribute a statement on how I got to be a success. I replied indignantly that I was not able to consider myself a success in any terms that had a meaning to me. I swore I had […]

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The city itself lives on its own myth

The city itself lives on its own myth. Instead of waking up and silently existing, the city people prefer a stubborn and fabricated dream; they do not care to be a part of the night, or to be merely of the world. They have constructed a world outside the world, against the world, a world […]

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Foolish people at the mercy selling happiness

If we are fools enough to remain at the mercy of the people who want to sell us happiness, it will be impossible for us ever to be content with anything. How would they profit if we became content? We would no longer need their new product. The last thing the salesman wants is for […]

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The Real Source of Violence

The population of the affluent world is nourished on a steady diet of brutal mythology and hallucination, kept at a constant pitch of high tension by a life that is intrinsically violent in that it forces a large part of the population to submit to an existence which is humanly intolerable. . . . The […]

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Concerning popular religion…

Popular religion has to a great extent betrayed man’s inner spirit and turned him over, like Samson, with his hair cut off and his eyes dug out, to turn the mill of a self-frustrating and self-destroying culture. The cliches of popular religion have in many cases become every bit as hollow and as false as […]

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It is the question of a game

“Businesses, are, in reality, quasi-religious sects. When you go to work in one, you embrace A New Faith. And if they are really big businesses, you progress from faith to a kind of mystique. Belief in the product, preaching the product, in the end the product becomes the focus of a transcendental experience. Through ‘the […]

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The work of purification: Loving others

Very few men are sanctified in isolation. Very few become perfect in absolute solitude. Living with other people and learning to lose ourselves in the understanding of their weakness and deficiencies can help us to become true contemplatives. For there is no better means of getting rid of the rigidity and harshness and coarseness of […]

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Respecting Solitude

If a man does not know the value of his own loneliness, how can he respect another’s solitude? It is at once our loneliness and our dignity to have an incommunicable personality that is ours, ours alone and no one else’s, and will be so forever. When human society fulfills its true function the persons […]

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The mythical nature of work in the modern world

In our society, a society of business rooted in Puritanism, based on a pseudo-ethic of industriousness and thrift, to be rewarded by comfort, pleasure, and a good bank account, the myth of work is thought to justify an existence that is essentially meaningless and futile. There is, then, a great deal of busy-ness as people […]

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Building the foundations for spiritual unity

To live well myself is my first and essential contribution to the well ­being of all mankind and to the fulfillment of man’s collective destiny. If I do not live happily myself how can I help anyone else to be happy, or free, or wise? Yet to seek happiness is not to live happily. Perhaps […]

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