"If we take a more living and more Christian perspective we find in ourselves a simple affirmation which is not of ourselves. It simply is. In our being there is a primordial yes that is not our own; it is not at our own disposal; it is not accessible to our inspection and understanding; we do not even fully experience it as real (except in rare and unique ' is something they never advert to at all. It is in fact absolutely unconscious, totally forgotten. Basically, however, my being is not an of Being itself, irrespective of my own choices. "Where do 'I' come in? Simply in uniting the 'yes' of my own freedom with the 'yes' of Being that already is before I have chosen to choose." [Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Image Books, 1968/1989, 266]

Thomas Merton Centenary

JThomasMertonThomas Merton was born on January 31 1915. Aquinas Academy will mark this anniversary in various ways during 2015. The first of those will be a joint seminar with St James Anglican Church in Phillip Street Sydney on Saturday January 31 2015, 9am to 3pm.

Presenters at the seminar on January 31 2015 will be Michael Whelan SM, Colleen O'Sullivan RSJ and Fr Martin Davies.

Venue: St James Hall Level 1, 169-171 Phillip Street, Sydney 2000

Cost: $60 ($30 full-time students and Centrelink pensioners). Registration fee includes lunch.

Bookings: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - early registrations advised.

Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Thomas Merton's life can be divided roughly into two halves, each of about 27 years:

   the first half runs from his birth on January 31 1915 until he left Bellarmine College in Olean, New York, and boarded a train bound for Gethsemani Abbey on December 10 1941;

   the second half runs from his acceptance into the Cistercian community of Gethsemani Abbey, Kentucky on December 13 1941, until his accidental death in the Red Cross Conference Centre in Bangkok on December 10 1968.

During his centenary year, we will post items of interest about Merton here on the web site.

Michael Whelan will be giving a course on Merton at Aquinas Academy - 3 Wednesday mornings, September 23, 30 and November 7 2015. Participants may include group work - in which case they will begin at 9am. Participants may simply attend the lectures - in which case they will begin at 10am. See Courses on this web site.