(Thomas Merton officially becomes a full-time hermit on the Feast of St. Bernard, August 20, 1965)
I believe with Diadochos that, if, at the hour of my death my confidence in God’s mercy is perfect, I will pass the frontier without trouble and pass the dreadful array of my sins with compunction and confidence and leave them all behind forever.
Lord, again, I do not doubt my call to holiness, even though I am not faithful. I do not doubt that You will fulfill Your will in me in spite of my cowardice and lack of effort, in spite of all my unconscious and even conscious prevarications. You are God and You have destroyed my sins on the Cross before they were committed. Keep me from s inning again, keep me even from material sin, make me avoid even imperfections, although so often I cannot even guess at them.
Our glory and our hope—we are the body of Christ. Christ loves us and espouses us as His own flesh. Isn’t that enough for us? But we do not really believe it. No! Be content, be content. We are the Body of Christ. We have found Him, He has found us. We are in Him, He is in us. There is nothing further to look for, except the deepening of this life we already possess. Be content.
August 20, 1956, III.70