By Monica Weis
Nature used to be constantly very important in Thomas Merton's lifestyles, from the lengthy hours he spent as a baby gazing his father paint landscapes within the clean air, to his ultimate years of solitude within the hermitage at Our woman of Gethsemani, the place he meditated and wrote concerning the fantastic thing about his atmosphere. all through his existence, Merton's learn of the wildlife formed his spirituality in profound methods, and he used to be one of many first writers to elevate trouble approximately ecological concerns that experience develop into severe in fresh years.In The Environmental imaginative and prescient of Thomas Merton, writer Monica Weis means that Merton's curiosity in nature, which built considerably in the course of his years on the Abbey of Gethsemani, laid the basis for his growing to be environmental awareness. Tracing Merton's knowledge of the flora and fauna from his adolescence to the ultimate years of his existence, Weis explores his deepening experience of position and wish for solitude, his love and accountability for all residing issues, and his evolving ecological expertise.
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Extra resources for The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton (Culture of the Land)
To try to arrive at a clear, cogent statement of our ills, so that we may begin to correct them. . It seems that our remedies are instinctively those which aggravate the sickness: the 13 Letter to Rachel Carson from Thomas Merton The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton remedies are expressions of the sickness itself. I would almost dare to say that the sickness is perhaps a very real and very dreadful hatred of life. (WF 70–71) The canker in our society is “hatred of life”? What an indictment.
And I am drunk with the great wilderness Of the sixth day in Genesis. —Thomas Merton, “A Psalm” It’s all about seeing—not merely looking, but seeing. Seeing with new eyes. Awakening to one’s surroundings and cultivating awareness of both external and internal movements of grace. Yet the development from looking to seeing does not happen automatically; it requires conscious effort and focus—sometimes even training—and often results in a transformation of consciousness. Writers, prophets, and poets through the centuries have challenged us to develop the habit of seeing and the art of attention so that transformation might occur.
Like all mountain streams in close proximity to their source, the Têt catapults itself from the Pyrenees Mountains, rushing over stones, creating a symphony of white-water music. For little Tom, the rushing river must have been like mythic sirens calling to him with secret messages, imprinting a love for water in its many forms. ” Much later, in the hermitage years, Merton would write in his essay “Rain and the Rhinoceros”: “What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone, in the forest, at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligible, perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges, and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows!