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Hope and Fear: A Reflection

March 20, 2022
Sister Moon visited our house last night… always beautiful and always welcomed

As I ponder the world’s situation and my own nation’s situation today I wonder… There is so much hatred… there is so much conflict… there is so much violence… there is so much war… Thomas Merton reminds us that the root of all war is fear. Whether that war is an out and out attack such as we are seeing with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or if it is the sort of warfare that is waged on the pages of social media or in various verbal and physical attacks that we see today, fear is indeed the foundation. It is seen in the fear of the white nationalist who believe they are losing power. It is seen in attacks on people who “look different” or who came from another country. Part of the reason that Merton’s words remain prophetic is because it seems the world really hasn’t changed that much from the world of the 1960s when he was writing/speaking-out against war, militarism, the nuclear arms race, nationalism, racism, and the military-industrial complex. There is an old phrase I learned many years ago that came to my mind as I wrote those words: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Last week I bought A Thomas Merton Reader, edited by Thomas P. McDonnell. Those who know me well might ask, why? Don’t you have enough of his books already? With the amount of traveling that we have been doing lately, I have missed having Merton close by for reading and reflection. Even though I have quite a collection of Thurman’s writings and audio CDs, I bought A Strange Freedom: The Best of Howard Thurman on Religious Experience and Public Life for the same reason as I did for the Merton book.

Today I opened up the Merton Reader and the dedication really hit a chord deep within me. In a world of hatred, war, and fear he held on the the audacious hope for peace and universal friendship. Perhaps these audacious words filled with hope will encourage us to live and act differently from the world and thus change the world!

This Book is Dedicated to All My Friends

To the Old Ones and the New Ones

To Those Who Are Near and Those Who Are Far Away

Tho Those on Earth and Those in Heaven

To Those I know and Those I Have Never Met

To Those Who Agree and Those Who Disagree

To Those I Have Never Heard of

In the Hope That We May All Meet in the One Light.

Dear reader, that is my hope and prayer for each one of us and for this nation and world.

Here are Amazon links to the books. Merton: https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Merton-Reader-P-McDonnell/dp/0385032927 and Thurman: https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Freedom-Thurman-Religious-Experience/dp/080701057X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=152CIC7CKJL8P&keywords=a+strange+freedom&qid=1647801414&s=books&sprefix=a+strange+fr%2Cstripbooks%2C80&sr=1-1

One Comment
  1. pynkoski2 permalink

    Audacious indeed! May we all have the audacity of hope!

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