I’m a fan of Thomas Merton. He had a profound influence on my life. I believe he was a monk far ahead of his time. In fact, I believe his writing was unconsciously forecasting his own journey further away from normative Christianity and the arm of the church. It somehow seems fit that he died in the far east at an interfaith conference between Catholic and non-Christian monks. His last writings betray an eventual spirituality that cannot be claimed by any one religion.
Monica Furlong, one of his biographers, writes something I think will be encouraging to some of you who are experiencing deconstruction:
“In his essay, ‘The Cell’… Merton charts what he believes is the essential route of the contemplative (and perhaps ultimately of all human beings), a route downward through loneliness and acute boredom, to the place where a man or a woman, deprived of diversion and the constant affirmation of others, begins to doubt his or her identity. When the ‘disciple’, as Merton calls him, reaches the point in which all illusion is stripped away, and he knows his own weakness, failure, and despair to the full, then the way is made clear for the… ‘moment of truth’, in which a new identity is discovered…”
Deconstruction takes us to the very bedrock. Then and there is the moment of truth where we may begin to discover who we really are.