Was Thomas Merton really a great mystic, as indicated above?
When I think of great Catholic mystics people like St. Faustina Kowalska come to mind. She was so busy suffering for others and having daily visions of Christ that she barely had time to write out her Diary.
Can bookish scholars/writers like Merton be mystics?
But I don’t think they can be great mystics. They might have an inkling of what the great mystics talk about.
Also, how do we know what a great mystic is? Need they be church approved and funded? Could there be other mystics who go unnoticed? Could the knowledge of these “wildflower” mystics, as I call them, surpass what the Church recognizes as a mystic or a saint?
I don’t know.
But my gut tells me that Merton, who was keen on study, talk and world travel, was not a great mystic. He might have been a great Catholic public figure. But that’s a totally different story.
I know everyone is different and it’s not a competition when it comes to serving God. But it seems there’s a sort of childish Catholic ‘cult’ mentality out there that I sometimes question.
Do some people need to believe in semi-mythical accounts for inspiration? Do they artificially elevate certain figures who really don’t deserve it? Are some religious people borderline fanatics?
Myself, I much prefer trying to get at the truth of things rather than following an overzealous, unthinking crowd.
Five suspects arrested for allegedly shooting Reverend Father (sundiatapost.com)
Tensions as robber escapes from Police custody in A-Ibom (vanguardngr.com)
Bishop Zubik Wants Dreamers To Have A Chance: ‘God Is Always There For The Underdog’ (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com)
Man Arraigned For Role In Divine Child Church Fireworks Attack (detroit.cbslocal.com)