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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Seven Storey Mountain

During the season of Lent I've been reading The Seven Storey Mountain which is Thomas Merton's autobiography. He was a Trappist Monk at Gethsemane which is located in Kentucky. Matthew and I paid it a visit in September of last year and found it remarkably full of peace and beauty. The brothers make cheese, fruit cake and bourbon fudge (yum!). Nothing was overblown, it was just beautiful in its simplicity. I can't wait to return for a weekend stay.

I'm not that far in the book, Thomas has just reached 17 and he is not Catholic (yet).

I read this passage this morning and it spoke to me. Something I think all of us can understand yet fall victim to from time to time.
People who are immersed in sensual appetites and desires are not very well prepared to handle abstract ideas.
This is why I think we Catholics pursue acts of penance, fasting and abstinence. When we starve our cravings and temptations then we truly can think clearly and think things through.

I am left wondering how we are to teach these ideas to our children. Is it that they must come to these conclusions by themselves? I suppose the best I can do is plant the seeds of these fruits multiple times.

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