Archive for May 15th, 2009

It is still a lost cause for me finding even just one book by Thomas Merton. My friend Grace suggested that I go to the UST Library but I told her that I want to have a copy of my own. His most famous works like The Seven Storey Mountain, No Man is an Island, Thoughts in Solitude and some of his famous selected poems are still in my Wish list until now.I was arranging some of my old collections of quotations and my college journal when I found this inserted in one of my notebooks, writings of Thomas Merton which I have typed some thirty years ago. I cannot remember now which one of his works I got this from but I want to share it with you.

Thomas Merton is a Trappist monk and is one of the most influential Catholic authors of the 20th century.

SINCERITY (Thomas Merton)

We make ourselves real by telling the truth. We cannot know truth unless we ourselves are conformed to it. We must be true inside, true to ourselves, before we can know that which is outside us. But we make ourselves true inside by manifesting the truth as we see it.

Sincerity in the fullest sense must be more than a temperamental disposition to be frank. It is simplicity of spirit which is preserved by the will to be true. Sincerity in the fullest sense is a divine gift, a clarity of spirit which comes only with grace. the sincere man therefore, is one who has the grace to know that he may be instinctively insincere, and that even his natural sincerity may become a camouflage for irresponsibility and moral cowardice; as if it were enough to recognize the truth, and do nothing about it.

Your idea of me is fabricated with materials you have borrowed from other people and from yourself. What you think of me depends on what you think of yourself. Perhaps you create your idea of me out of material that you would like to eliminate from your own idea of yourself. Perhaps your idea of me is a reflection of what other people think of you. Or perhaps what you think of me is simply what you think I think of you.

It takes more courage than we imagine to be perfectly simple with other men. Our frankness is often spoiled by a hidden barbarity, born of fear.

In the end, the problem of sincerity is a problem of love. A sincere man is not so much one who sees the truth and manifests it as he sees it, but one who loves the truth with a pure love. But truth is more than an abstraction. It lives and is embodied in men and things that are real. And the secret of sincerity is, therefore not to be sought in a philosophical love for abstract truth but in a love for real people and real things – a love for God apprehended in the reality around us.

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They have spoken and their voices were heard. The Americans have delivered and set a historical record of choosing their 44th president. If only we could emulate what they did, going out of their comfort zones to choose a man who they think is more capable of running the government with all its present problems and its economic turmoil. I admire their guts in choosing someone regardless of color of his skin. Democracy is clearly in place and the freedom to exercise their right to choose was in evidence.

How I wish there would come a time in our own Philippine politics where a loser graciously accepts defeat and the winner humbly acknowledges his triumph. I dream of the time when they would just shake hands and go along the same road together instead of back fighting, tongue lashing and hurling vindictive at each other. Or didn’t you know, there are two mindsets gravely embedded in us Filipinos – if you win, you are nandaya and if you lose, you are nadaya.

In the end, it’s the Filipino voters who are losers. Will we ever win?
(I posted this blog in my other sites when Barack Obama took his oath as the 44th President of America)

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I found this gem of a book while my daughter and I were ‘spring cleaning”. We no longer have enough space for books so we sorted some reading materials which we could donate to some school children who until now don’t have access to the internet. There is a whole set of Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia (1997) edition which I want to give to the barangay school in our place. It might be a little bit outdated but they could still use it as reference. There is no internet connection in the barangay school there, much less a computer where they could do some research. M daughter segregated some of her books and wants to donate them as well.

While we were sorting the pile, I finally found this book entitled Promises to Myself, a slim volume published by Blue Mountain Arts. It’s a collection of inspirational thoughts and daily promises that leads one to the life he or she always dreams of. I want to share some quotes with you, and I hope you will also find inspiration in reading them. This book has given me pleasure throughout the years.

Look on the Bright Side

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is
getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don’t have more money or I can be glad that my finances
encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn’t give me when I was growing up
or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today, I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to
discover new relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout because I have a job
to go to!

Today I can complain because I have to go to school or I can eagerly open my mind
and fill it with knowledge and adventure.

Today I can dejectedly murmur because I have housework to do or I can
feel grateful for shelter for my mind, body and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped, and here I am, the sculptor who
gets to do the shaping. what today will be like is up to me and I shall
decide what kind of day I shall have.

– author unknown-

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived
are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.

-Henry Drummond-

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