The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedLouis Massignon
Title QuotedAkhbar al-Hallaj. Texte ancien relatif à la predication et au supplice du mystique musulman al-Hosayn B. Mansour al-Hallaj
Date (Year/Month/Day)1960/03/18
QuotationHow can I begin to write you a letter about the amazing book of the prayers and exhortations of Hallaj [Akhbar al-Hallaj, third edition, in Arabic with Massignon's French translation]? I think it is tremendous. In many ways the rude paradoxes are striking in the same way as Zen. But there is the added depth and fire of knowledge of the one God. There is the inexorable force of sanctity. The sense of the Holy, that lays one low: as in Isaias. To read Hallaj makes one lament and beat his breast. Where has it gone, this sense of the sacred, this awareness of the Holy? What has happened to us? How true it is that in the light of such blinding sincerity, our ordinary prayers and protestations of faith are acts of impiety.
Quotation SourceWitness to Freedom: The Letters of Thomas Merton in Times of Crisis.; Selected and edited by William H. Shannon. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1994, p. 276
Letter toLouis Massignon
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