In the face of all that has happened in the world in the last 24 hours of terror and political distress, just one sentence from Thomas Merton – out of much that he says to me this morning – suffices to focus my energy and resolve for the inner and outer tasks of this new day.
The real job is to lay the groundwork for a deep change of heart on the part of the whole nation so that one day it can really go through the metanoia we need for a peaceful world. (The Hidden Ground of Love, p. 92)
In the many years since Merton wrote these words, technology has brought us in touch nearly instantaneously to the whole world. As a result we must not only see and contribute to the groundwork of peace in our own country but also to soften our hearts for that goal of a peaceful world in more informed, expansive and conscious ways than were possible in Merton’s day. Welcoming those who live across the street and across the world is incumbent upon us in our thoughts, our discourse and our lives of prayer if true peace is to be achieved.