The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedAurelius Augustinus
Title QuotedConfessions
Date (Year/Month/Day)1939/10/14
Imprint 
QuotationAbout prayer... The past and the future, not real. Only the present is real. In eternity "all is present." (Saint Augustine, Confessions. XI. 11) "...my childhood, which is now no more, existeth in the time past, which now is not; but when I remember and recount it, I behold the image thereof in the present time, because that still remaineth in my memory."(XI. 18) "... it might be properly said that there are three times, a present time of things past, a present time of things present, and a present time of things future." (XI. 20) Prayer is a way of bringing man close to God. God is eternal: to him, all things are present. So, in prayer, therre is no past, properly speaking, no future. But in prayer, always present, is a present tense of things past -
JournalRun to the mountain: The Story of a Vocation. The journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 1, 1939-1941.; Edited by Patrick Hart, O.C.S.O. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1995, p. 51
Link to Merton's Copy