This letter that came from the Merton Institute is timely today. Sometimes I feel an overwhelming sense of despair and lately it has been tugging at my shoulder from time to time. This letter Czeslaw Milosz though fifty years ago rings true for me today.
[Letter to Czeslaw Milosz, Feb, 1959] Milosz, life is on our side. The silence and the Cross are forces that cannot be defeated. In silence and suffering, in the heartbreaking effort to be honest in the midst of dishonesty (most of all our own dishonesty), in all these is victory. It is Christ in us who drives us through darkness to a light of which we have no conception and which can only be found by passing through apparent despair. Everything has to be tested. All relationships must be tried. All loyalties have to pass through fire. Much has to be lost. Much in us has to be killed, even much that is best in us. But Victory is certain.
Thomas Merton. The Courage for Truth: Letters to Writers, Christine M. Bochen, editor (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1993): 57-58.