I recently contacted Dr Paul Pearson, Director and Archivist at the Thomas Merton Center, Bellarmine University, to help me identify a quote that I thought was written by Thomas Merton: ‘a monk either drinks or prays.

He wrote back and said that he has never come across the quote as being written by Thomas Merton and added that Merton also did not say another quote about beer that he is often quoted as saying. ‘I drink beer whenever I can lay my hands on any. I love beer, and, by that very fact, the world.’

The reason for my enquiry was, like so many other people post-lockdown, I am trying to cut back on an increasing amount of alcohol consumption. What fascinates me about the phrase a monk either drinks or prays, is that the phrase implies that a person can choose either to drink or pray to help towards a particular condition whether to: fill a void, elevate stress, lift a low mood, reduce over excitement; the list goes on. It’s not rocket science to understand that prayer may have better health benefits: physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional, but the point is the person has a choice.

Please CLICK on the link here to read the entire post: A Monk Either Drinks or Prays

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