Thomas Merton: “Contemplation cannot construct a new world by itself” cannot construct a new world by itself”
Thomas Merton, in the introduction to the Spanish language edition to his complete works:
Contemplation cannot construct a new world by itself. Contemplation does not feed the hungry; it does not clothe the naked… and it does not return the sinner to peace, truth, and union with God. But without contemplation we cannot see what we do… Without contemplation we cannot understand the significance of the world in which we must act. Without contemplation we remain small, limited, divided, partial; we adhere to the insufficient, permanently united to our narrow group and its interests, losing sight of justice and charity, seized by the passions of the moments… Without contemplation, without the intimate, silent, secret pursuit of truth through love, our action loses itself in the world and becomes dangerous.