(Merton celebrates his first Mass in his hermitage's new Chapel on April 27, 1968)
The icon of St. Elias, which Jack Ford brought me from St. Meinrad's, and which yesterday I put up on the east wall of my hermitage. Fabulously beautiful and delicate and strong. A great red transparent globe of light, with angelic horses rearing in unison, and angels lifting it all up to the blackness of the divine mystery--from, below, the dark curve and shelves of the mountain from which Eliseus reaches into the globe to touch the mantle of the prophet, who stands in a little, finely drawn, very simple Russian peasant's cart (in the globe of fire!).
Below, Elias sleeps: that was before, when he had sorrow. The angel leans over him and mentions the hearth-cake to the sleeping prophet.
What a thing to have by you! It changes everything! Transfiguring everything!
Outside the door, a double bloom on one large violet iris, standing out of the green spears of the daylilies. And on the tongue of one bloom walks a great black-gold bee, the largest honeybee I ever saw. To be part of all this is to be infinitely rich.
April 24, 1963, IV.315-16