When you are in touch with the suffering in the world, it is so easy for despair to overwhelm you. But we do not need to be drowned by despair. Throughout the war in Vietnam young people easily became the victims of despair because the war went on for so long and it seemed it would never end. It is the same with the situation in the Middle East. Young Israelis and Palestinians feel that the heavy atmosphere of war will never end. We have to practice to protect our children and ourselves from despair. Bodhisattvas can stand up and resist despair by their ability to listen deeply, to love, to understand, and to be deeply committed.
–Thich Nhat Hanh, No Death, No Fear (Parallax 2002), 160
Thich Nhat Hanh is one of my favorite writers. He and Thomas Merton knew each other.