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Working for Peace – Thomas Merton

November 7, 2022

From our lips to God’s ear… Sixty-one years later his words still ring true. Only the fight is within this nation.

I must pray more and more for courage, as I certainly have neither the courage nor the strength to follow the path that is certainly my duty now. With the fears and rages that possess so many confused people, if I say things that seem to threaten their interests or conflict with obsessions, then I will surely get it. It is shocking that so many are convinced that the Communists are about to invade or destroy America: “Christians” who think the only remedy is to destroy them first. Who thinks seriously of disarming? For whom is it more than a pious wish, beyond the bounds of practicality?

I need patience to listen, to learn, to try to understand, and courage to take all the consequences and be really faithful. This alone is a full-time job. I dread it, but it must be done, and I don’t quite know how. To save my soul by trying to be one of those who spoke and worked for peace, not for madness and destruction. — November 12, 1961 (Turning Toward the World: The Pivotal Years (Journals, IV: 1960–1963) & the November 7th entry in A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals)

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