Affirming Common Roots

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Katena J. Brooks
INT- 244 World Religions
January 27, 2013
Anthony Colombo

Affirming Common Roots
In reading Merton’s quote at first glance I was in disagreement with him, however, after carefully reading the quote several times and dissecting it I came to both understand and agree with his overall view. According to the Merriam-Webster the definition of Conjecture is merely one’s interpretation of what is according to their experiences, etc. (Merriam-Webster, 2013). Merton’s quote has reminded me of my own spiritual path and the questions of validity that arose during my late teenage years, also, I it is clear within the quote the importance of opening one’s mind to interact or a t least come to clearly grasp the understanding of your neighbor’s faith, beliefs, practices, etc. I have never been one to judge another for not believing as I do, but, yes I have pondered as to why their beliefs are not in line with my own, or how is it possible that others do not or cannot embrace the God I serve, the very God that is responsible for their existence? Again, Merton’s quote almost demands that judgment of any kind be eliminated, which is in alignment with me, as a Christian should embrace, not judging my brother or sister, but showing them love and compassion, and even yes an understanding of their belief, even if I am not in agreement. Merton makes may powerful and direct statements within his quote, one which caught my attention is the following; "The true way is just the opposite: the more I am able to affirm others, to say 'yes' to them in myself, by discovering them in myself and myself in them, the more real I am. I am fully real if my own heart says 'yes' to everyone. I will be a better Catholic, not if I can refute every shade of Protestantism, but if I can affirm the truth in it and still go further (Merton, 1966)”. This quote in my opinion speaks volumes against judging others and religions that are different from my Christian...
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