The Best Laid Plans...

Continuing to meditate on the milieu of his parents' predictably unconventional sensibilities, Merton reflects:

"If we had continued as we had begun, and if John Paul and I had grown up in that house, probably this Victorian-Greek complex would have built itself up gradually, and we would have turned into good-mannered and earnest sceptics, polite, intelligent, and perhaps even in some sense useful. We might have become successful authors, or editors of magazines, professors at small and progressive colleges. The way would have been all smooth and perhaps I would never have ended up as a monk.

But it is not yet the time to talk about that happy consummation, the thing for which I most thank and praise God, and which is of all things the ultimate paradoxical fulfillment of my mother's ideas for me--the last thing she would ever have dreamed of: the boomerang of all her solicitude for an individual development."

~Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain, pp. 12-13