Importance of being able to rethink thoughts that were fundamental to men of other ages, or are fundamental to men in other countries. For me, especially - contemporary Latin America - Greek Patristic period - Mt. Athos - Confucian China - T'ang dynasty - Pre-Socratic Greece.
Despair of ever beginning truly to know and understand, to communicate with these parts and these distances, yet sense of obligation to do so, to live them and combine them in myself, to absorb, to digest, to "remember". Memoria. Have not yet begun. How will I ever begin to appreciate their problems, reformulate the questions they tried to answer? Is it even necessary? Is it sane? For me it is an expression of love for man and for God. An expression without which my contemplative life would be senseless.
To share this with my own contemporaries.
Thomas Merton wrote these words in his diary 50 years ago but it's like describing my heart today.