Monday, August 20, 2007

Back to the Roots: Science and Theology

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Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton was one of these rare individuals who was completely enamored of God. He was raised, for the most part, in an irreligious household but nonetheless felt an inescapable captivation by the religious life of a Catholic Cistercian. He entered the Trappist order on December 13, 1941 and at the encouragement of his superiors, began writing extensively on Christianity - from a contemplative perspective - as well as on ecumenism and social activism. He is undoubtedly one of the most potent and prolific mystics of the twentieth century.

Again, I ask myself during the times when doubt overpowers any speckle of faith I might have remaining: Was Thomas Merton COMPLETELY WRONG about the existence of God? Are individuals such as Nietzsche and Dawkins completely and universally correct about the non-existence of God? To be completely and universally correct about this type of matter requires a Deity to empower a philosophy to an overwhelming degree. So even the atheist - quite ironically- would require the existence of a Universal Manifestation for their philosophy to be completely and absolutely true everywhere in this universe and in others.

"I cannot make the universe obey me. I cannot make other people conform to my own whims and fancies. I cannot make even my own body obey me." ~~Thomas Merton


kris said...

In response to your comment about those times you doubt and your faith wavers, I quote Mark Plaiss:
"Faith is a journey, but a journey that is not linear, for faith is not geometry. The journey is not from point A to point B, but an exploration of the depths of th ehuman heart to discover the image of God, peel away the sin that has tarnished the image, confront it, rest there and ultimately transcend the self.... The journey may seemingly veer off 'the path'. This is an illusion. On the journey of faith, one can never veer off the path, for the path includes those moments of doubt we mistakingly believe push us off the path."

As for your conclusions, even for atheists... I concur.

Just bought a DVD on T.Merton while at the monastery, can't wait to see it.

kris said...

and might I add:
"Faith may wane, but most likely it is fervor that wanes, and the 2 are not the same. Faith cannot be generated, only accepted"...

Jumping around... this is a great book. Mark Plaiss: The Inner Room, A Journey Into Lay Monasticism.