My wife recently attended a leader’s conference in New York City in which Thomas Merton’s writings played an unexpected, serendipitous role.
The conference host shared with his audience this quote from Merton’s book Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, page 86:
Douglas Steere remarks very perceptively that there is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist fighting for peace by nonviolent methods most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are on a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his work for peace. It destroys his own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
I turned to that page in the book this morning, and began reading.
And I found something even more serendipitous, given Continue reading