|Merton's Hermitage (Photo: Justin Klassen)|
|Br. Paul Quenon (Photo: Justin Klassen)|
|Photo: Justin Klassen (the letter is on the wall of the Abbey's Visitor Center)|
I love this letter because it so beautifully addresses something Rowan Williams writes about in Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to Christian Belief. Williams writes about why and how people come to believe (and therefore trust) God. He remarks that the 'proofs' for the existence of God articulated by St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Anselm of Canterbury are fine for what they are, but that very few people actually come to any kind of trust in God as a result of their arguments. Rather, Williams argues that most come to trust and believe in God through "conduits" of God, women and men who "become responsible for God" and who make "a connection that argument and speculation cannot make" (26).
The writer of the above letter saw God in the monks of Gethsemani, experienced something about God's presence and love to which no amount of theological argument could have brought him. The monks were and are, in Rowan Williams' terms, "conduits" of God.