“One of the characteristics of “mass society” is precisely that it tends to keep man from fully achieving his identity …”
“To have identity is not merely to have a face and a name, a recognizable physical presence.”
“Identity in this deep sense is something that one must create for oneself by choices that are significant and that require a courageous commitment in the face of anguish and risk.”
“This means much more than just having an address and a name in the telephone book. It means having a belief one stands by, it means having certain definite ways of responding to life, of meeting its demands, of loving other people and, in the last analysis, of serving God.”
“In this sense, identity is one’s witness to truth in one’s life.”
“This does not mean merely the capacity to cling with conviction to official or external standards, to values which one does not personally experience as good but which one accepts in order to experience security, in order to please authority, and so on.”
~ Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action (p.61)
Here are a few other shiny nuggets from Thomas Merton that I’ve included here in a few other Sophia’s Children musings — notice what of these piques your interest and stirs your heart-soul strings:
And of course, if we’re allowing ourselves to dip into the well of the Via Feminina, and cultivating Feminina gifts (whether woman or man), we’ll be noticing other shiny-breadcrumbs, clues, and omens along the way — each of them (if we’re asking) hinting at our purpose, dharma, reason for being … or our Authentic Identity.
The Via Feminina riches also help us to keep our center and cultivate the inspiration and courage of our convictions — a necessity as we navigate the Way, which tends to take us off of the ‘well-traveled’ path of “mass society,” as Merton called it.