The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedAnselmus of Canterbury
Title QuotedDe Veritate
Date (Year/Month/Day)1963/08/09
QuotationI am reading St. Anselm's De Veritate and the delight of the book is mysterious, clear, contemplative. It is very simple, deceptively so, and one is tempted to think he is arbitrary with his debere esse [ought to be] until one sees that the root is esse [to be] and not debere [ought (to be)], or that it is both, and he traces them both to the esse [being] of God which is the debere esse of everything else. The idea of debere-devoir-debt has been so wrung out and exhausted and so divorced from esse that for us it is a tired authoritarian command that has nothing to say but "You must because you must." Anselm is saying "You must because you are, and being what you are you must say what you are, by being and action, and whether you like it or not you must say you are in God and from Him and for Him, and for no other!"
Quotation SourceDancing in the Water of Life: Seeking Peace in the Hermitage. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 5, 1963-1965.; Edited by Robert E. Daggy. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1997, p. 5
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