[Cold War Letter 27, Jan, 1962]

It seems to me that the darkness that has troubled you, and the same darkness which many good people and souls of prayer suffer these day, comes from one very serious source. Without wanting to be in conflict with the truth and with the will of God, we are actually going against God’s will and His teaching.

Many …  make the mistake of thinking that the problems of our time are very clear-cut, that there is no difficulty in seeing the truth, and that since the just cause is very evident, we need only to apply force to achieve justice. But precisely this illusion that everything is “clear” is what is blinding us all. It is a serious temptation, and it is a subtle form of pride and worldly love of power and revenge.

Thomas Merton. Witness to Freedom: Letters in Times of Crisis. William H. Shannon, editor (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1994): 79.