The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author Quoted 
Title QuotedWay of the Pilgrim
Date (Year/Month/Day)1963/06/29
QuotationPersonally I like the Way of the Pilgrim and it is a good stimulating book to read. The ideas are good, but we have to apply them to ourselves with due concern for our own situation. It seems to me that it is expecting too much to try to make our whole life center itself in the Jesus Prayer. And it is not necessary. I think that this repetition of the prayer is useful at certain times. I have recourse to it when I am plagued with distractions or half dead with sleep and can't do anything better. As for the breathing, I would get some idea of some good Yoga breathing, as described in a reliable book like Dechanet's Christian Yoga, and use that sometimes. But for the rest, the light of the Lord shines in our hearts always and all we need to do is to remind ourselves of it in the simplest possible way, and surrender to Him totally. If a simple ejaculation helps, well and good. Words do not always help. Just looking is often more helpful.
Quotation SourceThe School of Charity: The Letters of Thomas Merton on Religious Renewal and Spiritual Direction.; Selected and edited by Brother Patrick Hart. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1990, p. 176-77
Letter toFather Thomas Fidelis (Francis) Smith, o.c.s.o.
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