Fourth and Walnut

Plaque commemorating Merton's epiphany

The day before yesterday - March 18 - was the fiftieth anniversary of the epiphany Thomas Merton experienced at the corner of Fourth and Walnut street in Louisville, Kentucky. Merton immortalized that experience in his book Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (and which I quote at length on my Thomas Merton page). Conjectures was published in 1966, eight years after the epiphany took place; here is what Merton initially wrote about it, in his journal on March 19, 1958: Yesterday, in Louisville, … [Read more...]

Thomas Merton

I've just posted to the Mystics section of this website a page about Thomas Merton.Click here to visit it. … [Read more...]

Quotes for the Day

In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world, the world of renunciation and supposed holiness. ... This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a … [Read more...]

Prayer for the Day

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

No writing on the solitary, meditative dimensions of life can say anything that has not already been said better by the wind in the pine trees. These pages seek nothing more than to echo the silence and peace that is "heard" when the rain wanders freely among the hills and forests. But what can the wind say when there is no hearer? There is then a deeper silence: the silence in which the Hearer is No-Hearer. That deeper silence must be heard before one can speak truly of solitude. — Thomas M … [Read more...]


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