The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedAnselmus of Canterbury
Title QuotedDe Casu Diaboli
Date (Year/Month/Day)1965/08/10
Quotation(I am frightened by the awful clarity of Anselm's argument in De Casu Diaboli. A view of liberty that is essentially monastic, i.e., framed in the perspective of an entirely personal vocation and grace.) The need to pray-the need for solid theological food, for the Bible, for monastic tradition. Not experimentation or philosophical dilettantism. The need to be entirely defined by a relationship with and orientation to God my Father, i.e., a life of sonship in which all that distracts from this relationship is seen as fatuous and absurd. How real this is! A reality I must constantly measure up to, it cannot be simply taken for granted. It cannot be lost in distraction. Distractedness here is fatal-it brings one inexorably to the abyss. But no concentration is required, only being present. And also working seriously at all that is to be done-the care of the garden of paradise! By reading, meditation, study, psalmody, manual work, including also some fasting, etc. Above all the work of hope, not the stupid, relaxed, self-pity of acedia [sloth].
JournalDancing in the Water of Life: Seeking Peace in the Hermitage. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 5, 1963-1965.; Edited by Robert E. Daggy. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1997, p. 278
Link to Merton's Copy