How high the corn is this year, and what joy there is in seeing it! The tall crests nodding twelve to fifteen feet above the ground and all the silk-bearded ears. You come down out of the novitiate, through the door in the wall, over the trestle, and down into this green paradise of stalks and silence. I know the joy and worship the Indians must have felt, and the Eucharistic rightness of it! How can one not feel such things – so that I love the Mayas and the Incas as perhaps the most human of peoples, as the ones who did most honor to our continents.
The irreligious mind is simply the unreal mind, the zombie, abstracted mind, that does not see things that grow in the earth and feel glad about them, but only knows prices and figures and statistics. In a world of numbers you can be irreligious, unless the numbers themselves are incarnate in astronomy and music. But, for that, they must have something to do with seasons and with harvests, with the joy of the Neolithic peoples, who for millennia were quiet and human.
– Thomas Merton, journal entry – July 26, 1963