Merton on ‘Perplexities and New Births’- May 15 1949
The sun is rising. All the green trees are full of birds, and their song comes up out of the wet bowers of the orchard. Crows swear pleasantly in the distance, and in the depths of my soul sits God, and between Him, in the depths and the thoughts on the surface of mind, is the veil of an unresolved problem.
What shall i say this problem is? It is not a conflict of ideas. It is not a dilemma. I do not believe it is a question of choice. Is it a psychological fact? Any interior problem is a psychological fact. Is it a question that I can resolve? No.
This problem is my own personality, in which I do not intend at any time to take an unhealthy interest. But this problem is my own personality or, if you like, the development of my interior life. I am not perplexed by either what i am or what i am not, but by the mode in which i am tending to become what i really will be.
God makes us ask ourselves questions most often when God intends to resolve them. He gives us needs that He alone can satisfy and awakens capacities that He means to fulfill. Any perplexity is liable to be a spiritual gestation, leading to a new birth and a mystical regeneration.