Reflecting this labor day weekend, growing up in a pro-labor family, and a father very active in the UAW and the state of the world during the ’50s and ’60s reminds me of something Thomas Merton wrote that seems to leave one with the sense we are constantly battling the same battles over and over:
“‘The spirit of this country at the present moment is to me terribly disturbing… It is not quite like Nazi Germany, certainly not like Soviet Russia, it is like nothing on earth I ever heard of before. The whole atmosphere is crazy, not even the peace movement, everybody. There is in it such an air of absurdity and moral voice, even where conscience and morality are invoked (as they are by everybody). The joint is going into a slow frenzy. The country is nuts.’”
Again, I think this leads us all to the full realization that through contemplation and action we can bring about the world to a better understanding of the Universal Christ.
So on this weekend I think of Merton, I think of Dorthy Day, and I think of social justice, I reflect on Pope John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council. I am re-reading ‘Pacem in Terris,’ and in the words of Merton:
“The real hope, then, is not in something we think we can do, but in God Who is making something good out of it in some way, we cannot see. If we can do His will, we will be helping in this process. But we will not necessarily know all about it beforehand.”