Face reality

The American racial crisis which grows more serious every day offers the American Christian a chance to face reality about himself and recover his fidelity to Christian truth, not merely in institutional loyalties and doctrinal orthodoxies (in which no one has taken the trouble to accuse him of failing) but in recanting a more basic heresy: the loss of that Christian sense which sees every other man as Christ and treats him as Christ. For, as St. John said: “We know what love is by this: that he laid down his life for us so that we ought to lay down our lives for the brotherhood. But whoever possesses this world’s goods and notices his brother in need and shuts his heart against him, how can the love of God remain in him? Dear children, let us put our love not into words or into talk but into deeds, and make it real.” (1 John 3:16-18)

Thomas Merton
Faith and Violence (1968)