Monday, January 29, 2007

Peace in the world...

We prescribe for one another remedies that will bring us peace of mind, and we are still devoured by anxiety. We evolve plans for disarmament and for the peace of nations, and our plans only change the manner and method of aggression. The rich have everything they want except happiness, and the poor are sacrificed to the unhappiness of the rich. Dictatorships use their secret police to crush millions under an intolerable burden of lies, injustice and tyranny, and those who still live in democracies have forgotten how to make good use of their liberty. For liberty is a thing of the spirit, and we are no longer able to live for anything but our bodies. How can we find peace, true peace, if we forget that we are not machines for making and spending money, but spiritual beings, sons and daughters of the most high God?

...The world is, by its very essence, struggle, conflict, division, dissension. For there to be peace in the world, men must renounce their selfishness in order to make peace, and we cannot make peace with others unless we are at peace with ourselves.

From: Thomas Merton. The Monastic Journey. Patrick Hart, editor. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1978: pp62-3.

Yet more extraordinary Merton wisdom... How would the world look if we really, for even a day, lived like this, truly lived as people who kept Jesus' command, to love one another as he has loved us? (John 15)

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