This morning I finished Echoing Silence: Thomas Merton on the Vocation of Writing (edited by Robert Inchausti). It's been an interesting journey, but I have to say I'm grateful to Mr. Inchausti for ending the book with this message of hope, written by Merton in 1967, a year before he died.
"The message of hope the contemplative offers you... is that whether you understand or not, God loves you, is present in you, lives in you, dwells in you, calls you, saves you, and offers you an understanding and light which are like nothing ever found in books or heard in sermons.
"The contemplative has nothing to tell you except to reassure you and say that if you dare to penetrate your own silence...you will truly recover the light and the capacity to understand what is beyond words...the intimate union, in the depths of your own heart, of God's spirit and your own secret inmost self, so that you and He are in all truth One Spirit."
Now there's a message of hope to fuel a soul lost in the desert...