The Key to Existence

“A monk is a man who has given up everything in order to possess everything. He is one who has abandoned desire in order to achieve the highest fulfillment of all desire. He has renounced his liberty in order to become free. He goes to war because he has found a kind of war that is peace.  Beyond imagination, beyond grandeur, power, wisdom, and the light of the mind, the monk has found the key to existence in things without romance and without drama: labor, hunger, poverty, solitude, the common life. It is the silence of Christ’s Nazareth, in which God is praised without pomp, among the wood shavings.” ~Thomas Merton from “The Waters of Siloe”