By Thomas Merton
The sixties have been a time of restlessness, internal turmoil, and enthusiasm for Merton within which he heavily the careening improvement of political and social activism – Martin Luther King, Jr., and the March on Selma, the Catholic employee circulate, the Vietnam struggle, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. quantity five chronicles the procedure of Merton’s 50th birthday and marks his movement to Mount Olivet, his hermitage on the Abbey of Gethsemani, the place he used to be eventually capable of totally embody the fun and demanding situations of solitary lifestyles: ‘In the hermitage, one needs to pray of visit seed. The pretense of prayer won't suffice. simply sitting won't suffice . . . Solitude places you along with your again to the wall (or your face to it!), and this can be sturdy’ (13 October, 1964).
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Men will do anything for this love, and nothing else matters. Brother Colman just told me that the one suspected of the murder of Kennedy is a Communist, a twenty-four-year-old ex-marine, supposed to be pro-Castro. That puts a different complexion on the whole thing; at least it was not a fanatic ultra-patriot who would have a large following inside the country. On the other hand the super-patriots will turn this to their advantage against liberalism. November 25, 1963 The curious adventure with nausea last Tuesday still stays with me, and sure.
The South has apparently accepted Kennedy’s death with great satisfaction and absolutely no charity. On the contrary, some have openly regretted that Bobby [Kennedy] was not killed–there is real hate there. Flags are not being flown half mast (here of course they are, and in Kentucky), etc. 2. The question of murder, the motives, etc. is still extremely unsatisfactory, and though everyone believes the “evidence” discovered by the Dallas police, perhaps it is not all as solid as it sounds.
How solid his letters are. How solid everything is in him, compared to our shifting, fluid ground in which there is no foothold. Visited Brother Chrysostom’s parents briefly at the gatehouse yesterday after dinner and it came out that Diem, the dictator in Viet Nam, had been murdered and the whole tribe with him. A miserable business. Sickened by these corrupt “Catholic” bosses hungry for power, cynical, greedy, slick, working with Church power, running little countries supported by American guns.
Dancing in the Water of Life by Thomas Merton