|Little girl dancing in Detroit|
"Today, more than ever, we need to recognize that the gift of solitude is not ordered to the acquisition of strange contemplative powers, but, first of all, to the recovery of one's deep self, and to the renewal of an authenticity which is presently twisted out of shape by the pretentious routines of a disordered togetherness." (Merton, Contemplation In a World of Action)
Merton wrote that in the 60s. It's one of his typical, true, from-God prophetic words. Here is a word that only gains strength as the years have gone by. It screams today, in a world where authenticity (from Greek autos, = "self") is buried beneath mega-googles of triviality and inconsequentialness.