Tuesday, March 18th marks the 50th anniversary of Thomas Merton's "epiphany" at the corner of Fourth and Walnut in Louisville.
In Louisville, on a corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I was theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers...I have the immense joy of being human, a member of a race in which God himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. If only Everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is not way of telling people that they are all walking around Shining like the Sun!
Thomas Merton. Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (New York: Doubleday): 156