Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Violence of Modern Life

Just got back from a 2-day spiritual retreat (see yesterday's post). The retreat leader asked us to consider this passage from the writings of Thomas Merton. It definitely spoke to me. How about you?

There is a pervasive form of modern violence for which the idealist fighting for peace by non-violent method most easily succumbs: activism and over-work.

The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence.

To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns,
To surrender to too many demands,
To commit oneself to too many projects,
To want to help everyone in everything,
Is to succumb to violence.

The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his or her work for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his or her work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.

--Thomas Merton

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