The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedPeter F. Anson
Title QuotedCall of the Desert
Date (Year/Month/Day)1964/12/26
ImprintLondon : SPCK. 1964
QuotationI think that even if a desert is formed (which is unlikely) without this basis of intelligent and open communication, it will not be practical. A desert merely isolated and directed "from abov" by people with narrow and fearful ideas will be stale from the start. It has to be alive and realistic. This requires open perspectives. And study. For a start, I recommend that you get hold of a book called The Call of the Desert by Peter Anson (I forget who publishes it, Helicon perhaps). This book surveys the whole field of the hermit life, and gives references to plenty of books about it. You should be acquainted with the literature, at least to some extent. But be careful not to let it just stir up your imagination and feelings. You have an objective job of studying to do, and you must keep it objective. There are problems to be recognized, historic solutions to be considered, matters of past legislation to be noted down for reference, and so on. Without this knowledge, any project that is drawn up will be merely an essay in imagination.
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. 257
Letter toMother Angela Collins
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