The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedRosemary Ruether
Title QuotedChurch Against Itself
Date (Year/Month/Day)1967/02/09
ImprintNew York : Herder and Herder. 1967
QuotationReading Rosemary Ruether's ms. on the Church. One point she makes is completely convincing: when the "glory of the Spirit" becomes a purely historic event which underwrites all the Church's institutional activities throughout the rest of history, when the Spirit becomes a "thing" owned and operated by the church, then the Spirit sits in judgment on the very Church that desires to be guided by it. Then you get the demonic parodies of power and holiness which make the institution of Church so frightening and repugnant: and yet the Spirit is there nevertheless for the well-meaning and the deluded. (This is more my own anxious paraphrase and formulation.) But this I think is true: "The historification of the Spirit and the Risen Lord as a past mandate for the historical institution spells the death of the Church's freedom for grace." However, our struggle in and with this institution is a great grace.
JournalLearning to love: exploring solitude and freedom. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 6, 1966-1967.; Edited by Christine M. Bochen. / [San Francisco] : HarperCollins. 1997, p. 195-96
Link to Merton's Copy