I am reading Thomas Merton’s “The Sign of Jonas.” He wanted to avoid the task of writing–but it was forced upon him. I, on the other hand, can’t imagine anything else but writing, but no one is ordering my words onto the page.

  • A monastic soul without an order.
  • A love without a bride.
  • What do you do when you can’t tell your best friend his wife is a whore?
  • Recovering Christian.
  • Without an order
  • Covenant
  • Convent
  • Content

I watch lawyers arguing semantics that could bore a politician. No one has a point or is universally right. Someone loses no matter what happens and even the one with the “morally correct” position is acheiving her position on immoral grounds. There is no room for grace in this world. Grace is too offensive and no where near fair. I watch these lawyers argue, and all I think about are theologians–sitting in their offices in front of their books and computers–taking a position and studying their lives away to prove the otehr position wrong, no longer concerned with the lives directly affected by their tirades. They are content to be absorbed into the thick, shallow, meaninglesness of religion–oblivious to the hope they once found in the illogical grace of this man called Jesus, and the immeasurable truth of the creator, or the soothing peace of this spirit indwelling their very bodies. Somehow, this is not enough.

What does someone who no longer believes in theology, yet desperately believes Truth is a being who is intimately involved in every second of the world–what does this person write about? If it were not so cliche, I’d call it thology 2.0. But I don’t know if theology is a word worth redeeming. Theology is probably something that should die along with religion and right. I don’t mean just the words, but the very things the words represent. Only after those archane, draining, corrosive concepts have faded into history–only then might we be able to redeem the words which currently identify those concepts and give the words the meaning they deserve. Until then, I must learn to communicate without them.

This is not a theology. This is not about religion or being right. This is a story about a man who tries to recognize Truth. A monastic soul without a monastery within which to withdraw. Instead I must seek the face of Christ in the faces of friends and family and neighbors and strangers–people whose lives matter more than any religious event.

  • How does one become an oblate of the world?
  • My journal and my prayers must be my abbot.






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