Point Vierge (“at the center of our being a a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God…is a gift of love.”) Alana Levandoski and James Finley collaborate in an effort to bring to being their experience of Thomas Merton. Trying to capture someone’s ‘essence’ is a labor of love and an attempt to convey this love to others. You will be captured by Alana’s voice in this album and drawn into the mystery of this Trappist monk by his friend James. Both of these artists have lent their skills to this elusive task. If you have not read any of Merton’s works you have a treat in store. Once you do this you will be able to judge if Point Vierge has succeeded. Watch this short clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvPxsK-v1Ao to hear Alana in her own words and taste the album. If you want to experience James watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc2XVSpkoeA Enjoy.
The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation by Thomas Merton.
Some of the pearls found in this work of Merton written just before he left for Asia where he died. The best estimation of when that was seems to be sometime in September 1959.
One of the strange laws of the contemplative life is that in it you do not sit down and solve problems: you bear with them until they somehow solve themselves. Pg.2 The contemplative life is primarily a life of unity. A contemplative is one who has transcended divisions to teach a unity beyond division. Pg. 147 The contemplative is not one who directs a magic spiritual intuition upon other objects, but one who, being perfectly unified in himself and recollected in the center of his own humility, enters into contact with reality by an immediacy that forgets the division between subject and object. Pg. 151.
It seem fitting that I finished it around 3:15, this Good Friday afternoon. Thank you Thomas
Monica Furlong wrote this book back in 1980 and I read it then. Today I finished reading it and found even more this time in this wonderful work. A quote I find touching me most powerfully is this one:
Everyone of us is shadowed by a false self. This is the man I want myself to be but who cannot exist, because God does not know anything about him. And to be unknown to God is altogether too much privacy. My false and private self is the one who want to exist outside the reach of God’s will and God’s love – outside of reality and outside of life. And such a self cannot help but be an illusion. Pg. 265. Furlong, Monica. Merton: A Biography. NY. Harper & Row. 1980. I invite you to consider this fine work.
In Good Company by James Martin, SJ tells a modern day tale reminiscent of Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain. A young man fast on his way up the corporate ladder finds himself asking “is this all there is” and wanders into the Jesuit order. I say wander because the path he takes often makes one wonder how he or anyone else in his situation could awaken to the answer to this basic question from such a “enviable” life position. He faces the question of our age with grace.