Merton Artifacts - "one of the finest [privately owned] spiritual literary archives of the 20th century"

About the collector ~ Albert Romkema

What matters in the contemplative life is not for you to be always infallibly right, but for you to be heroically faithful to grace and to love. If God calls you to Him, then He implicitly promises you all the graces you need to reach Him. You must be blindly faithful to this promise.

~ Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation. 1961, p. 244

Someone once said, “All those who wander are not lost”. It seems this is an apt statement to describe my life. In a sense I have wandered through my life searching for my truth – but I am certainly not lost.

I realize that I am living a life that might be considered by some to be unconventional. I left a successful career in health care because I needed change. Since then I have studied real estate, gardening, and theology - seemingly divergent interests, unconnected. But, for me, they are not unconnected at all. There has always been an underlying theme to my wandering: to become the person God has called me to become, and to explore life along the way. Each of the choices I have made in my life has followed this desire, to explore my calling. In small increments there has been real progress for me in this. God has been very good to me.

Now I am in the middle portion of my life, with perhaps less time ahead of me than behind, and I feel a sense of the comfort that I have long searched for. A comfort that comes with a certainty, a knowing, that I am being cared for as part of a bigger story. My part in this grand story is a small one, no greater or less than any other, but important for me, and somehow connected to the stories of those around me - community has become an important word in my vocabulary. It seems that my task ahead will be to live this truth and to bravely walk the road of faith.

We are all bound to seek not only our own good, but the good of others. Divine providence brings us in contact, whether directly or indirectly, with those in whose lives we are to play a part as instruments of salvation.

~ Thomas Merton, Life and Holiness. 1963, p. 40



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