“From this basic experience one can, after all, recover hope for the other dimension of man’s life: the political. Even though we have the power to destroy the whole world, life is stronger than the death instinct and love is stronger than hate. It does not make logical sense to be too hopeful, but once again this is not a question of logic and one does not look for signs of hope in the newspapers or the pronouncements of the world leaders (in these there is seldom anything really hopeful, and that which is supposed to be most encouraging is usually so transparently hopeless that it moves one closer to despair). Because there is love in the world, and because Christ has taken our nature to Himself, there remains always the hope that man will finally, after many mistakes and even disasters, learn to disarm and to make peace, recognizing that he must live at peace with his brother. Yet never have we been less disposed to do this.
The fact remains, this is the one great lesson we have to learn. Everything else is trivial compared with this supreme and urgent need of man.”
Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander