The forms and individual characters of living and growing things,
of inanimate beings, of animals and flowers and all nature,
constitute their holiness in the sight of God.
Their inscape is their sanctity.
It is the imprint of his wisdom and his reality in them.
The special clumsy beauty of this particular
colt on this day in this field under these clouds
is a holiness consecrated to God by his own creative wisdom
and it declares the glory of God.
The pale flowers of the dogwood outside this window are saints.
The little yellow flowers that nobody notices on the edge of the road are saints
looking up into the face of God.
This leaf has its own texture and its own pattern of vines and its own holy shape,
and the bass and trout hiding in the deep pools of the river
are canonized by their beauty and their strength.
The lakes hidden among the hills are saints,
and the sea too is a saint who praises God without interruption
in her majestic dance.
The great, gashed half-naked mountain is another of God’s saints.
There is no other like him.
He is alone in his own character;
nothing else in the world ever did or ever will imitate God in quite the same way.
That is his sanctity.
But what about you? What about me?
Thomas Merton, from New Seeds of Contemplation
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky in the USA. He wrote over 70 books, primarily on spirituality and social justice. His autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, was a best-seller that impacted the post-World War II generation and caused many veterans and students across America to enter monastic life.