Saturday, June 11, 2011

rooted in everyday life

Very often the inertia and repugnance which characterize the so-called "spiritual life" of many Christians could perhaps be cured by a simple respect for the concrete realities of ever-day life, for nature, for the body, for one's work, one's friends, one's surrounding, etc.

A false super naturalism which imagines that "the supernatural" is a kind of real of abstract essences (as Plato imagined) that is totally apart form and opposed to the concrete world of nature offers no real support to a genuine life of meditation and prayer. Meditation has no point unless it is firmly rooted in life.

- Thomas Merton


Jaimie said...

Plato has seeped into evangelical thought, so much. I read this blog called The Christian Monist where he talks about that some, as well as other evangelical problems.

Matt Shedd said...

You should read NT Wright, he is very much against Platonic thought, and does an excellent job of showing true Christian thought.

Young Mom said...

I'm not sure what I think about this anymore. I still think that there are some things that are concrete, like hot and cold temperatures, and needing oxygen to breath and stuff like that. But so much of what I was told was concrete is not. (Like women only being created to produce babies, and sexual attraction being a choice etc.) However, I completely agree with respecting both yourself, the earth, and the people around you.
Not sure if I'm making much sense here. :)

Kacie said...

Well I was surprised to find comments on this post! Thought it would be a quote people would skim and them run past.

It might be helpful to see the paragraph before the quote.

"Under the pretext that what is 'within' is in fact real, spiritual, supernatural, etc., one cultivates neglect and contempt for the 'external' as worldly, sensual, material, and opposed to grace. This is bad theology and bad asceticism. In fact, it is bad in every respect because instead of accepting reality as it is, we reject it in order to explore some perfect realm of abstract ideal which in fact has no reality at all."

So, young mom, Merton isn't at all talking about moral absolutes here. He's pushing against over spiritualizing at the cost of the beautiful every-day.