October 21, 2009

The Scopos of the Monk

One of our many kind parishioners passes her issues of First Things on to me after she reads them. Thanks to her I can watch the ALCS while I read beautiful things like this letter of Thomas Merton to a sixth grader who wrote to ask him about monastic life:

Monks are people who seek to devote all their time to knowing God better and loving Him more. For that reason they leave the cities and go out into lonely places where it is quiet and they can think. As they go on in life they want to find lonelier and lonelier places so they can think even more. In the end people think these monks are really crazy going off by themselves and of course sometimes they are...

...I suggest that you sometimes be quiet and think about how good a thing it is that you are loved by God who is infinite and who wants you to be supremely happy and who in fact is going to make you supremely happy. Isn't that something? It is, my dear, and let us keep praying that it will work out like that for everybody. Good bye now.

7 comments:

4narnia said...

thanks for sharing this post, Fr. C! i enjoyed reading that letter of Thomas Merton to the sixth grader. i think it's good for all of us (not just monks) to go off to the lonely and quiet places from time to time-it's where we will probably hear God the loudest if we're truly listening.PEACE! ~tara t~

GrandmaK said...

Could have been written to anyone. In its tenderness it is most informative! Thank you! Cathy

Julia said...

Great letter to start off the morning. Thank you, Father.

KAM said...

I especially like the way he lends a bit of humor to a somewhat serious subject...

Warren said...

Do you mean Scopus? (Outlook)

Or did I miss some more obscure reference?

:-)

W

Brother Charles said...

Obscure references? Not me! ;)

It's just an homage to one of my great teachers, John Cassian, whose first conference discusses the destinatio and finis as well as the scopos, (σκοπος) and telos (τελος)of the monk, all of which are usually Englished as the "end" or the "goal."

And the prize for combox html goes to...Charles!

Thom Curnutte said...

I love Merton. What a great way to start the day.

(And I daresay Francis may have had a similar response to Merton's!)