Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sad Day

Had to have our cat, Inky, put to sleep. It happened unexpectly and
suddenly. Rather sad.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Big Deep Fish

"The blue elm tree near at hand and the light blue hills in the distance: the red bare clay where I am supposed to plant some shade trees: these are before me as I sit in the sun for a free half hour between spiritual direction and work. Today,as I sit in the sun, big blue and purple fish swim past me in thedarkness of my empty mind, this sea which opens within me as soon as I close my eyes. Delightful darkness, delightful sun, shining on a world which, for all I care, has already ended.

It does not occur to me to wonder whether we will ever transplant the young maples from the wood, yonder, to this bare leveled patch--the place where the old horse barn once stood. It does not occur to me to wonder how everything came to be transformed. I sit on a cedar log half chewed by some novice's blunt axe, and do not reflect on plans I have made for this place of prayer, because they do not matter. They will
happen when they happen.

The hills are pure as jade in the distance. God is in His transparent world, but He is too sacred to be mentioned, too holy to be observed. I sit in silence. The big deep fish are purple in my sea. (Thomas Merton, in his journal, February 26, 1952.) Thanks A !!


"The job of being a success in a competitive society leaves one no time for compassion." (Merton, Disputed Questions, p.200)

Friday, February 24, 2006

To Come to God in Prayer

Thanks to Don Brennan for this:

There is a certain joy and peace in daily contemplation.  Drawing near
to God means, of course, pulling away from all that is not of God.  
When the treasure is found are we not willing to leave the junk

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Merton`s manuscripts valued $1 million


Bellarmine University receives major gift for Merton Center

Bellarmine University President Joseph J. McGowan announced today the receipt of a gift of draft manuscripts and correspondence valued at nearly $1 million to the university’s Thomas Merton Studies Center.

Robert Giroux, a partner in the publishing firm of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, has given a variety of Thomas Merton original pieces to the university. The collection, which has been appraised at $911,225 includes:
- a complete first draft of The Ascent to Truth, along with a number of
- a draft of Disputed Questions.
- a draft of Thoughts in Solitude.
- a typed manuscript of The Waters of Siloe with extensive editorial
- more than 35 original pieces of correspondence from Merton to Giroux,
dating back as far as 1949, along with a similar number of carbon copies
of Giroux’s letters to Merton.
- plus many more important but less significant pieces.

"We are extremely appreciative of Mr. Giroux’s thoughtfulness and gift," said Bellarmine President Joseph J. McGowan. "We are honored to welcome this new material to what we think is the world’s pre-eminent Thomas Merton collection."

Giroux was a schoolmate of Merton’s at Columbia, and he edited and published a number of his books including Disputed Questions and Thoughts in Solitude. Giroux gave Bellarmine’s commencement address at the December 2003 ceremony, at which time he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Bellarmine.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The renowned book editor and publisher who edited many of Thomas Merton's works donated nearly $1 million worth of the late poet's papers to the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University.

Robert Giroux said he was sorting through his New Jersey apartment last year when he discovered more than 3,000 pages of documents from the Roman Catholic monk and poet who died in 1968.

"I just knew that's Merton's stuff and forgot what it was," said Giroux, a college friend of Merton's from Columbia University who edited many of his books.

Now 91, Giroux was a partner at publishing house Farrar, Straus &Giroux. He edited works by T.S. Eliot, Bernard Malamud, Flannery O'Connor and many others. The Merton center collection has 50,000 documents by and about Merton, who lived at the Abbey of Gethsemani near Louisville from 1941 until his death at age 53.

The documents donated by Giroux include drafts or proofs of five books, an unpublished book manuscript, letters between Merton and Giroux, and a 1940 rejection slip for an early novel.Paul Pearson, director of the Merton center, said that the four heavily edited drafts for "The Ascent to Truth," a book on the philosophy of
Christian mysticism, could provide material for a doctoral dissertation."A researcher could see how that book developed," Pearson said.

See Merton Library Files

Technorati Tag: Thomas Merton

Thursday, February 16, 2006

HTC Hermes

I use a Sidekick2 for most of my postings but now a flutter of activity about the coming HTC Hermes, HTC Tornado, or whatever. Yes, I could use MP3 on my sidekick, a better camera, fast downloads, music.

Am Listening to XM70, 73, 71, and 28.

Some thoughts from the day;

"Whoever has Jesus in his heart soon manifests Him in all his actions."

My prayer: "Lord, help me not to be an obstacle."

Thoughts about Humility.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


shore full of wishes
Originally uploaded by hkvam.

"What if pebbles and rocks were wishes thrown into the sea somewhere else, washing up on the shores around the world for the moon alone to see?"

What are some of your wishes?


through the surface
Originally uploaded by hkvam.
Getting rested up from trip to Arizona. High lights included Chapel of the Holy Cross and Taliesin West. Saw this photo on Flickr when I got home. Thought it was beautiful. From the heat of the desert to the top of the earth. What a contrast. What are some of the contrasts in your life? The yings and yangs?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Sky Harbor Int'l Airport - Phoenix, Az

We volunteered to miss our flight and got a couple of travel vouchers.

Not sure when we will get out of here, maybe 2 to 3 hours late or it

could be 6 to 7 hours. No doubt I might be late for work but one thing

is for sure, vouchers will pay for a full vacation for Janet and me. Took

a brief nap

Sedona Bell Rock

Sedona Bell Rock
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.

Montezuma's Castle

Montezuma's Castle
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
We visited this on the way back from Sedona. The Indians lived here

until 1400 A.D.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Chapel of the Holy Cross
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Chapel of the Holy Cross -Sedona, AZ

Picture of Jesus in the chapel. It is from the Cathedral in Chartres,


Merton quote help

Does anyone know where this Merton quote comes from?

"The reality that is present to us and in us; call it being…, silence.
And the simple fact that by being attentive, by learning to listen (or
recovering the natural capacity to listen), we can find ourselves
engulfed in such happiness, that it cannot be explained: the happiness
of being at one with everything in that hidden ground of love for which
there can be no explanations…. may we all grow in grace and peace, and
not neglect the silence that is printed in the centre of our being. It
will not fail us."

Saturday Morning

It is still dark outside. I can't sleep. I continue reading Robert
Benson's A GOOD LIFE. He says, "it seems to me thar all too often we all
too easily make our prayer about ourselves, and ourselves alone. It is
tempting to become the center of our own universe, and to expect God to
drop by our timetable and to address our concerns on demand." How true

Friday, February 10, 2006

Taliesin West

Taliesin West
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
I have long admired Frank Lloyd Wright. I have been to Taliesen East in

Spring Green, Wisconsin, his gravesite, his Oak Park home and several

other places. Today, it was a blessing to go to Taliesin West in

Scottsdale, Arizona. I remember the sign over the Oak Park, Illinois,

fireplace which said, "Truth is life. Good friend, around this

hearth-stones speak no evil word of any creature." Wright's houses had

no closets, no attics, and no basements. One was to become a part of the

view. Taliesin means "shining brow." My favorite room was the living

room filled with a picture window covering one whole side. Spacious.

Broken into separate sections, made of stone, with the centerpiece the

fireplace. A room to speak no evil of any creature.

Los Olives Mexican Restaurant

We ate lunch the the Los Olives Restaurant, a Scottsdale landmark,

founded in 1919 by Tomas Corral. Previously it has been the home of a

bakery, tavern, pool parlor and even a chapel. "This is your home,

please return soon." It is still family run. This is my picture outside

the restaurant.

Scottsdale - statues

Scottsdale - statues
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.

La Casa Retreat Center

We walk the labyrinth. Go into a prayer room and sense God's presence. A
prayer: "Lord Jesus, please come and heal my wounded and troubled
heart," says the prayer book. In the labyrinth is a time of renewal, of

La Casa Franciscan Labyrinth

La Casa Franciscan Labyrinth
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.

La Casa Franciscan Retreat Center

Camelback Mountain-Scottsboro, AZ


"In a world that keeps asking us to go higher and faster, how do we
begin to go deeper, into the place where God lives and moves and has his
being with us?" (Robert Benson"

Surprise, Arizona

It is sunny here. It has not rained in 114 days. My host wears a shirt
that says, "Not all who wander are lost." I am reading a book of there's
by Robert Benson, A Good Life-Benedict's Guide to Everyday Joy. Robert
Benson once led a retreat for a small group of 12 of us who have met
monthly for over a decade. We had been studying, Living Prayer, his book
on prayer that I consider the best book on prayer I have ever read. We
had a huge "Bill GrimK breakfast prepared by our host. In a few minutes
we are going sightseeing.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Flight Journal to Phoenix

Flight Journal to Phoenix
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
Flight Journal

A journey is a turning point. We are subject to new winds. The horizon

is deep blue. I am lost in a compartment of thought, of hazardous

journeys, unbidden sorrows, of wrecked lives that I fumble and twist

with in hopes of bringing meaning.

"There is something hidden go find it !" says the voice. The window is

full of creme colored clouds. "Everytime we leave home and go to another

place, we open up the possibility of having something wonderful happen

to us," says the prophet.

I drink coke classic, eat a feast of crackers, listen to Sinatra sing

"I've got you under my skin" and read about the Laser monks at the

Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank in rural Wisconsin. They

sell ink cartages and have an online click check for online prayers.

So why not try lasermonks.com?

More peanuts are on the way ! I take a bite of fig newton. I hate fig

newtons. A man beside us heads to Phoenix to see his daughter and seven

grandchildren and a 16 year old grandson who throws a baseball at 90

miles per hour.

The trip grows cloudy. Night falls. The flight takes 3 hours and 33

minutes. Welcome to "the valley of the sun." Next stop Surprise.


Phoenix here I come

We sit in the Nashville airport waiting. The lines are long, the plane
is 25 minutes late. An overweight man with blue work shirt walks around
with his head in the air looking at schedules. I read email, an
advertisement for drugs, and an email from the author of The Master of
the Jinn by Irving Karchman. The book looks interesting.

This trip is an interlude, hopefully it is a time for renewal and
refreshment. I have brought two books to read: Walk in a Relaxed Manner
by Joyce Rupp and The Way of the Traveler by Joseph Dispenza. Stay
tuned! 3:14 pm Nashville TN

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Matthew Kelty Article

Check out the article on Father Matthew Kelty in Bryan's Blog.

Travel Thoughts Before the Journey

As I prepare for a trip to Phoenix tomorrow, my huge 16 pound black cat, Inky, moans at the door to get outside in the darkness, while the phone rings and we talk of a major sickness with Janet's first cousin in a hospital nearby.

All in all, there are times when life registers more complaints than visions of goodness: the illness grows worse, a good friend becomes angry and treats you as a major enemy, turning others against you, and the subsiding of the tide drowns ones internal hope. And another is mistreated routinely as if they are worthless and an immediate sickness occurs in us as we feel their hurt.

To defy the odds we hide, turn the pages of our lives, cry out to God, dream fitfully, plot ways out, then toss endlessly during the night.

Sometimes travel helps, scenes change, food lingers in our mouths, snow turns to desert sun, the air lightens, one hears a friendly voice in the distance. Hopefully, it is a beginning!!!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Thoughts on Super Bowl XL Sunday

"My Lord and my God, take from me everything
that distances me from you.
My Lord and my God, give me everything that
brings me closer to you.
My Lord and my God, detach me from myself to
give my all to you."
--St. Nicholas of Flue

Let nothing trouble you/Let nothing frighten you
Everything passes/ God never changes
Patience/ Obtains all
Whoever has God/Wants for nothing
God alone is enough."
--St. Teresa of Avila

From To The Abbey

Thoughts on Super Bowl Sunday

"Every life needs points along the way that enable us to rise above the petty daily problems, the overwhelming tragedies of our lives and begin again." (Joan Chittister)

As I read this I thought of the "everyday meagerness" of our lives. Sure, our days are full, but with real meaning?--Our habits are the same each day. Eating, sleeping, carrying out the garbage, bath, shaving, fixing our hair. "Making our rounds" so to speak.

Interesting Colomba banned women from Iona. "Where there is a cow there is a woman. Where there is a woman there is mischief," he said.

The real monastic looks for holiness in the here and now, walks through life with a barefooted soul, alart, aware, grateful, and only partially at home,

Boredom can often be turned to listening.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Portable Merton from Inksinger

A little over a year ago, a generous friend bought me A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals. A Year with…Merton has proven to be a great
companion, so much so that I wondered if there was an audio version. I could then listen to each day’s meditation while I was riding my bike to work.

What would Merton, if the monk were alive today, think about his words being broadcast from an iPod? I hadn’t thought of the irony of that until now…
So yesterday I emailed the editor of the book, Jonathan Montaldo. I thanked him for editing such a swell collection of journal entries and asked if there was an audio version. more

What is the real face of Thomas Merton? From The Real Merton. This is a very interesting site. Worth seeing and pondering.

"When he painted the portrait of his friend Merton standing near the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, Ed Rice deliberately blanked out Tom's face. He confessed to being confused. Over the years, the scholars, the followers, publishers, the church itself, had drawn a portrait that was unrecognizable, that of a plastic saint, a monk interested mainly in pulling nonbelievers, and believers in other faiths, into the one true religion. This was not the Merton that his friends from younger days and later days, Jim Knight and Ed Rice, knew. Merton was eminently human. He honored, and reached out to other faiths. He loved, he laughed. In essence he was a poet, who used words to help us understand the thousands of things we need to understand. This is his portrait, as recalled by his very close friends." Jim Knight link

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Compline - Thursday Night

I read Psalm 9 and titled it "A Celebration - God as Refuge."

Its 9:47 p.m. I listen to Watercolors on XM 70, read and study Psalms. It is a time of peace and rest and prayer.

"So Oswald and his companions knelt......at the foot of the cross and prayed."

The king (Oswald) prayed and trusted and waited, and reached out his hands to his God. "Then came Aiden."

Refugio -- a good name for a dog.