Saturday, May 28, 2011
Merton on Poets
"Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get around to being the particular poet or the particular monk they are intended to be by God. They never become the man or the artist who is called for by all the circumstances of their individual lives. They waste their years in vain efforts to be some other poet, some other saint...They wear out their minds and bodies in a hopeless endeavor to have somebody else's experiences or write somebody else's poems."
* Thomas Merton is speaking here of poets - poets who write out of someone else's experience, not their own. I think we can say the same for a homilest. If a priest, deacon, or even a bishop offers a homily without at least a part of it coming out of his own experience, the congregation will not believe it. As a newly ordained Catholic deacon, I have the awesome responsibility of preaching...my words will have to be real - from the heart - from my own experience - they must ring true...or my words will be written and spoken in vain.
* Above image by Simon Clayton, in China