White smoke rising up from the valley, against the light, slowly taking animal forms, with a dark background of wooded hills behind. Menacing and peaceful, probably brush fires, maybe a house, probably not a house. Cold, quiet morning, watch ticks on the desk. Produce nothing.
Perhaps I am stronger than I think. Perhaps I am afraid of my own strength and turn it against myself to make myself weak. Perhaps I am most afraid of the strength of God in me.
It is simply time that I must pray intently for the needs of the whole world and not be concerned with other, seemingly, ‘more effective’ forms of action. For me, prayer comes first, the other forms of action follow, is they have their place. And they no doubt do to some extent. Prayer…for Latin America, all of America, for this hemisphere – sorrow for the dolts, for the idiot civilization that is going down to ruin and dragging everything with it.
Fr. Louis (Thomas Merton) December 13, 1960 Journal IV.73