“I long for the day we don’t need food pantries and we don’t need Black Lives Matter protest to state the obvious. Black Lives Matter and people should be fed and not hungry in the richest country in the world.”
Although the hunt for more solitude was a pattern in Merton’s life, the sense of “arrival” was palpable for him in rat-infested toolshed
Sister Barbara Jean LaRochester is a Carmelite nun in Baltimore, where she’s been a Catholic sister since 1972. Previously, she spent 17 years in Philadelphia as an active nun working in a Catholic hospital and teaching on the weekends. She was also a board member of the National Black Sisters Conference and was active in theContinue reading “Patient Endurance: A Conversation with Sister Barbara Jean LaRochester”
“The monastic night watch is good practice in the art of waiting, as we patiently look for the coming of dawn. Monks and nuns wait in the dark, longing for the light of dawn but unable to hasten its coming. No one can force the dawn or bring it about in any way. It dawnsContinue reading “A Monkish Friendship: Fr. Charles Cummings, OCSO (1940-2020)”
“One person plus one typewriter constitutes a movement.” –Pauli Murray Coming off a week-long class on activism, organizing and social movements in Durham, North Carolina (and my first full year of seminary at CTS), I climb back into the quiet walls of a Kentucky monastery: Gethsemani Abbey. Here, the silence seeps into my bones likeContinue reading “The Absurd Vocation”
How did you get inspired to create a film about Thomas Merton and his hermitage?
To go seeking for something which cannot be sought. To go on looking for something which cannot be found. To attempt to do something which cannot be done.
(This will be among the many essays featured in the forthcoming book Notes on Silence that I’m co-authoring with Patrick Shen which can be purchased here.) “…I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone…” Rainer Maria Rilke I was around 8 years old when I began to have reoccurring dreams aboutContinue reading “The Uncertainty of Silence”
“My dishonesty with myself and others hinders the honesty of all humanity, hinders the progress of all people.” Journal entry on 2/12/12 In 2012 I made the decision to let go of some certainty in my life for the sake of exploring something unknown. I quit my job. I quit my salary-paying, insurance-giving job full of securityContinue reading “When Letting Go Is Holding On”
“A cricket chirped in the monastery’s library. That and the swish of a turned page, Thomas Merton’s “New Seeds of Contemplation,” was about it for sound. Cassidy Hall stopped on page 81. Merton did not write on the absence of sound on that page but the abyss of solitude in the soul: “You do notContinue reading ““Cassidy Hall found silence in an Iowa monastery and brought her discoveries to a new documentary” Des Moines Register”