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Author QuotedVirgil
Title QuotedGeorgics
Date (Year/Month/Day)1962/09/29
Imprint[S.l.] : [s.n.]. 29 B.C.
QuotationThis morning, in John of Salisbury, ran across a quote from the Georgics which has entered into the deepest part of my being since I learned it thirty years ago at Oakham-and was moved by it then, studying I think one June morning before the Higher Cert[ificate Examination], by a brook behind Catmose House. Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas Atque metus omnes, et inexorabile fatum Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari. [Happy is he who can have known the causes of things, and has placed under his feet all fears and inexorable fate and the rumbling of greedy Acheron.] Inexhaustible literary, spiritual, moral beauty of these lines: the classic ideal of wisdom. What a gift to have lived and to have received this, as though a sacrament, and to be in communion of light and joy with the whole of my civilization-and my Church. This is indestructible. Acheron (whose strepitus [rumbling] was never so full of ominous rumblings) has nothing to say about it. And John of S[alisbury]-glossing this with words about faith as a way to the highest truth, adds: Impossibile est ut diligat et colat vanitatem quisquis et toto corde quaerit et amplectionem veritatis. [Merton's emphasis] [It is quite impossible for someone to seek and foster vanity and wholeheartedly at the same time seek also for the embrace of truth.]
Quotation SourceTurning Toward the World: The Pivotal Years. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 4, 1960-1963.; Edited by Victor A. Kramer. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1996, p. 251-52
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