Page image of X(38)

X (38)

The truth as it is contained in Christian revelation includes the cognition that it is neither possible to know the truth fully nor to avoid the error of pretending that he does. It is recognized that 'grace' always remains in partial contradiction to 'nature' & is not merely its fulfillment.
R. Niebuhr
In the light of this Niebuhr passage, this from Merton's private journal entry of October 20, 1964 :
At the same time I am beginning to see that the question of solitude for me is finally getting to be no longer a question of desire but of decision. I still do not know what scope for decision may be given me, but I do know that I must prepare to face a serious decision and one about which I had more or less given up thinking and hoping. It seems to be a real encounter with the Word that I must not evade. Yet as in all such things, I am not too sure just where the encounter is except that my heart tells me that in this question of the solitary life there is for me a special truth to be embraced. A truth which is not capable of fully logical explanation. A truth which is not rooted in ms own nature or in my own biography, but is something deeper and something that may also cut clean through the whole network of my own recent works, ideas, writing, experiences and so forth... .
[emphasis added] A Vow of Conversation . Edited & introduced by Naomi Burton Stone. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1988. p. 88