January 09, 2019

Breakin' that Skein of Self-Reflection

Thomas Merton, like Pope Francis, was big on criticizing and lobbing complaints, particularly at the fellow Catholics around him.  But that's a feature, not a bug, turns out. Interesting to see a “lean in” admission/defense of Merton (by Thomas Moore) in the introduction to the monk's book Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander:
He is an unsentimental monk writing from a basic optimism, but fully aware of the follies and unsophisticated thoughts surrounding him. Don’t demand that he be aware of his own follies; for, every passionate person has to break through the skein of self-reflection, and live and talk with abandon.
Hey, turns out I’m allowed to be passionate and critical on Twitter and Blogger sans guilt! Yay me.

But seriously, I did find the introduction a very good read.  Moore’s comment is not too far afield from what I was thinking not long into Francis’s pontificate, how by definition the passionate crusader must lack self-reflection. I wondered if you can even be effective Leftist voice [with self-reflection] since if you're going to change the world you have to be sure of what you're doing. There's no way Luther starts a Reformation if he was unsure of his rhetoric or if he gave his enemies the benefit of the doubt.

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