During our vacation I have been reading the classic The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton. Although I cannot agree with everything he says, Merton writes marvelously. Practically every word explodes with meaning. Although portions of this book are dated, the timeliness of other sections invite one to reflect on their relevancy for today.
With regard to the paragraphs I have copied below, for example, I wonder how Merton would feel about the Islamic State and Ebola Virus epidemic crises (as well as Russia/Ukraine, Israel/Gaza and other current hot spots in the world). Specifically, would he feel that they are logical consequences of our post-modern ways of thinking?
“For that was to be 1939, the year when the war that everybody had been fearing finally began to teach us with its inexorable logic that the dread of war is not enough. If you don’t want the effect, do something to remove the causes. There is no use loving the cause and fearing the effect and being surprised when the effect inevitably follows the cause…” (p. 256)
“There was something else in my own mind—the recognition: “I myself am responsible for this. My sins have done this. Hitler is not the only one who has started this war: I have my share in it too… It was a very sobering thought, and yet its deep and probing light by its very truth eased my soul a little…" (p. 272)
What do you think he would say? And would you agree or disagree?