thomas merton

This still shot, from episode 208, reminds me of Thanksgiving. The picture of the family at Lallybroch is reminiscent of a painting from the Dutch or Flemish artists. In its simplicity is its great beauty. People who love and are loved, grateful for the good things of life, in this case an abundant potato harvest.  Wherever we are in the world, may we all be grateful for the blessings we have, especially the blessings of people whom we love and who love us in return. May we treat others as though they are a miracle, as though they are “walking around shining like the sun” (Merton). I am grateful for all of you who shine brightly for everyone who is part of our Outlander tumblr community! 

A theology of love cannot afford to be sentimental. It cannot afford to preach edifying generalities about charity, while identifying ‘peace’ with mere established power and legalized violence against the oppressed. A theology of love cannot be allowed merely to serve the interests of the rich and powerful, justifying their wars, their violence and their bombs, while exhorting the poor and underprivileged to practice patience, meekness, longsuffering, and to solve their problems, if at all, nonviolently.

The theology of love must seek to deal realistically with the evil and injustice in the world, and not merely to compromise with them. Such a theology will have to take note of the ambiguous realities of politics, without embracing the specious myth of a “realism” that merely justifies force in the service of established power. Theology does not exist merely to appease the already too untroubled conscience of the powerful and the established. A theology of love may also conceivably turn out to be a theology of revolution. In any case, it is a theology of resistance, a refusal of the evil that reduces a brother to homicidal desperation.

Instead of preaching the Cross for others and advising them to suffer patiently the violence which we sweetly impose on them, with the aid of armies and police, we might conceivably recognize the right of the less fortunate to use force, and study more seriously the practice of nonviolence and humane methods on our own part when, as it happens, we possess the most stupendous arsenal of power the world has ever known.

—  Thomas Merton, from “Faith and Violence”