Today, the last day of January, Thomas Merton was born in 1915.
His life's journey, particularly the first 30 years, was a search for himself, and for the meaning of his life. Since I've been teaching Siddhartha, and will be teaching other texts this semester related to the search for meaning, I find celebrating this man's birthday very meaningful... not to overuse the word, or anything...
Thomas Merton 1915-1968
Looking at my own life, I observe that I have had three fathers: a physical one, a spiritual one, and an intellectual one, though the three frequently overlap. All three were born within a year of each other: Vince Higgins in 1914, Tom Merton in 1915, and Ralph Harper in 1915.
Ralph Harper 1915-1996
I have thought of Merton as my spiritual father. Especially his autobiography of his early years,
The Seven Storey Mountain, and his journal of his early years in the Trappist monastery, The Sign of Jonas, pulled me into some very deep reflection and prayer.