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Thomas Merton on the nature of personhood

May 21, 2007 Leave a comment

Here’s a great quote on the human person from Thomas Merton:

“The person is defined in terms of freedom, hence in terms of responsibility also: responsibility to other persons, responsibility for other persons. To put it in concrete terms, the Christian is not only one who seeks the expansion and development of his own individuality and the satisfaction of his most legitimate natural needs but one who recognizes himself responsible for the good of others, for their own temporal fulfillment, and ultimately for their eternal salvation. Hence, the Christian person reaches maturity with the realization that each one of us is indeed his “brother’s keeper,” and that if men are suffering and dying in Asia or Africa, other men in Europe and America are summoned to self-judgment before the bar of conscience to see whether, in fact, some choice or neglect on their own part has had a part in this suffering and this dying, which otherwise may seem so strange and remote. For today the whole world is bound tightly together by economic, cultural and sociological ties which make us all, to some extent, responsible for what happens to others on the far side of the earth. Man is now not only a social being; his social nature transcends national and regional limits, and whether we like it or not, we must think in terms of one human family, one world.”

Thomas Merton. Love and Living. Naomi Burton Stone and Brother Patrick Hart, editors. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1979: 152-153 

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , , , , , ,

Getting Along with People

November 27, 2006 Leave a comment

Here’s a good quote to keep in mind when you’re mixing with way too many folks during the holidays:

“If you put up with yourself, why not put up with everybody else?”

Guigi I, Meditations 

Categories: Community Tags: , , ,

Integrity and Integration

November 10, 2006 2 comments

For multiple world, our modern/postmodern world has forced many of us to split our lives and now even our identities into multiple slots such as work and home, public and private, inner and outer. Now many thinkers even suggest there is no real person behind the roles we play. I don’t have time to respond to that here, but I disagree.

The nature of personhood is more complex and interconnected than modernism may have realized and the Church Fathers offered a far more nuanced view of the person than the modern idea of the individual. This tendency to create separate identities between home, office, house of faith, hobbies, friends, and the multivarious online social computing personas is dis-integrating. It does tend to make us think there is really no me to me: just another face, another mask. This potentially could lead to many negative and even dangerous manifestations.

Since I believe the person is real, I believe that integration of these various worlds and identities are important. Thus my values at home are the same at work are the same among my friends are the same in the online world. I try to be the same person everywhere (inner and outer).

Thus this blog does not section off technology away from faith away from art or other interests, and that’s why I put the Pope Benedict XVI quote earlier. It captures some of the essence I think the word

Now enough from me. I’ll have to spend more time on this on my Floydville blog sometime. If anyone disagrees, feel free to let me know. 🙂

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