Vegetarian Ideal

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
- Albert Einstein

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Prayer in the context of [meditation] becomes not so much a matter of cause and effect as a celebration of love. In the light of this celebration, what matters most is love itself, thankfulness, assent to the unbounded and overflowing goodness of love which comes from God and reveals him in his world.
- Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action (153)

Do we really choose between the world and Christ as between two conflicting realities absolutely opposed? Or do we choose Christ by choosing the world as it really is in him, that is to say, created and redeemed by him, and encountered in the ground of our own personal freedom and of our love? Do we really renounce ourselves and the world in order to find Christ, or do we renounce our alienated and false selves in order to choose our own deepest truth in choosing both the world and Christ at the same time? - Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action (153)

Of all the creators and cultivators who have ever lived, Jesus was the most capable of shaping culture through his own talents and power—and yet the most culture-shaping event of his life is the result of his choice to abandon his talents and power. The resurrection shows us the pattern for culture-making in the image of God. Not power, but trust. Not independence, but dependence. - Andy Crouch, Culture Making (via azspot)(via redviena)

We can to a great extent trust our nature and culture to guide us once we have learned the relatively easy and habitual norms they impose. But this easy permissive, drifting existence is bought at a price: it excludes certain other dimensions of life which cannot be found unless to some extent we work hard to discover them. - Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action (108).
Why do men learn through pain and suffering, and not through pleasure and happiness? Very simply, because pleasure and happiness accustom one to satisfaction with the things given in this world, whereas pain and suffering drive one to seek a more profound happiness beyond the limitations of this world. - Seraphim Rose, Blessed Hieromonk (via Desert Wisdom)

The monastic life can be seen as a dialectic of freedom and discipline. - Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action (98)

To have identity is not merely to have a face and a name, a recognizable physical presence. Identity in this deep sense is something that one must create for oneself by choices that are significant and that require a courageous commitment in the face of anguish and risk. That means much more than just having an address and a name in the telephone book. It means having a belief one stands by; it means having certain definite ways of responding to life, of meeting its demands, of loving other people and, in the last analysis, of serving God. In this sense, identity is one’s witness to truth in one’s life. - Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action (61)

Leo Babauta, I Am Not a Brewer:
I’ve been learning a bit about beers lately (and enjoying the learning process) and on the top beer ratings sites a beer from the Westvleteren Brewery tops the list.
It’s a Belgium beer brewed by monks who absolutely fascinate me. They brew the best beer in the world and yet seem to care nothing about business. As their beer has gained fame they refuse to raise production to meet demand. They refuse to market their beers and have no label on their bottles. They do no advertising and don’t allow interviews or tours of their brewery — you can visit a visitors’ center across the street but they don’t want to be bothered. You can only buy two cases at a time and you have to drive to their brewery to get it — and only after reserving via phone.
They are crazy dudes but I love them. They are not interested in making money or fame or accomplishments. They just want to be monks.
Father Abbott said on the occasion of the consecration of their new brewery “But we do not live ‘for’ our brewery. This must be strange for business people and difficult to understand that we do not exploit our commercial assets as much as we can.”
He went on to say “We are no brewers. We are monks. We brew beer to be able to afford being monks.”
I’m with him.
I am not a blogger. I am no author. I am a simple man who enjoys a simple life with his family. I write to be able to afford living that simple life.

Our life does not consist in magic answers to impossible questions but in the acceptance of ordinary realities which are, for the most part, beyond analysis and therefore do not need to be analyzed.  
- Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action (49-50)

The older I get, the more I meet people, the more convinced I am that we must only work on ourselves, to grow in grace. The only thing we can do about people is to love them, to find things to love in them.  
-- Dorothy Day

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