Thomas Merton died 41 years ago today. Some years back I moved a motion at our diocesan synod, the cogs of which have been slowly working – (ACANZP’s) General Synod is anticipated to have its second vote on this in 2010 and then, after a year “lying on the table” (for anyone to make a submission that this should not proceed) he will be added to the formal calendar of this church. Appropriately; he has strong connections to New Zealand. The Episcopal Church this year added Merton to their calendar at their General Convention. In their Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints they describe him:
Thomas Merton [1915-Dec. 10, 1968] Trappist author and poet. Merton’s Catholic conversion is the subject of his best-selling The Seven Storey Mountain. He became a contemplative monk at Gethsemane Abbey in Kentucky, yet remained engaged with social justice and world affairs through reading and vast correspondence.
you called your monk Thomas Merton to proclaim your justice out of silence,
and moved him in his contemplative writings to perceive and value Christ at work in the faiths of others:
Keep us, like him, steadfast in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ;
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.