- After reading Merton’s work for over 50 years, I would like to begin this Easter Sunday letter with some fascinating facts. Thomas Merton was first a Trappiest monk and second a writer of books and especially of letters. Beginning in 1942 until his death in 1968, Merton wrote over 10,000 letters to 2,100 individuals and organizations. Merton lived a monk’s life of silence and physical isolation. He sought solitude and lived as a hermit at Gethsemani Monastery. Yet, Merton received visitors, was widely published, wrote in protest of war, about racial issues/justice, and pushed for updating conventional monastic life.
- I have 1960 questions: Did Merton use carbon paper? Who paid for the postage for massive mailings of which many were international? In the 1960’s, where did he store 10,000 letter copies; as well as the names and addresses of 2,100 correspondents?
- Learn more at The Merton Legacy Trust, YouTube, and your own search.
** As part of morning errands, Beth wanted to bring home breakfast burritos. Both a local burrito place and McDonald’s told Beth, “Sorry, we are out of eggs.” This was a surprise and a bit hard to understand.
- For golfers, this is Master’s week! Arnold Palmer won the 1960 Master’s. My father and I watched Arnold on a small black & white tv. Like many War II veterans of that time, my father began playing golf and I joined in learning the game with cut down clubs. My education was supported by playing on the golf team at Texas Wesleyan. Now 78, I have not played since our return from Santa Fe to Ft. Worth. But this is Master’s week and my clubs and bag nearby. So maybe, just maybe, Arnold and I might still enjoy the click of a ball on club.
** How we communicate with our devices in 2023. To Phone: “Hey Siri.” In our car it is, “Hey Goggle.”
- Sam Bennett is a 22-year-old student at Texas A & M is playing well in the Master’s as an amateur. Bennett’s father was diagnosed, at age 45, with Alzheimer’s. Eight years later, in his last days of life, his father gave Sam a note he had struggled to write, “Don’t wait to do something.” Following his father’s death, Sam had his father’s words tattooed on his arm, a forever father’s encouraging message to his son.
** Today is Easter Sunday. The end of the ministry of Jesus at age 33 is recorded in the Gospels. The emergence of a sustaining community of believers, the church, began. Jesus’s teachings and actions were about respecting the lives of others, of calling those who were separated to join him in a life of faith, hope, and inclusion. The challenge this Easter Sunday is in what ways am I, are we, continuing and fulfilling the mission and ministry of Jesus in 2023?
Roy, Still a Believer, maybe even a golfer