In 2011, I cited this from Thomas Merton:
Thomas Merton used to travel from the monastery to the city of Louisville when he was a young monk. At first everything of the world seemed repulsive. But in prayer he learned to see. Later, when he went to town, he was astounded at how beautiful everything was. He stood on a street corner one day and it was as though the entire city glimmered with the grace of God. “How do you tell people,” he asked himself, “that they are walking around shining like the sun!”
I remain fascinated by it and am reminded of the wonderful J.D. Salinger quote about “fat lady” which I shared way back in 2009:
But I’ll tell you a terrible secret — Are you listening to me? There isn’t anyone out there who isn’t Seymour’s Fat Lady. That includes your Professor Tupper, buddy. And all his goddam cousins by the dozens. There isn’t anyone anywhere that isn’t Seymour’s Fat Lady. Don’t you know that? Don’t you know that goddam secret yet? And don’t you know — listen to me, now — don’t you know who that Fat Lady really is? . . . Ah, buddy. Ah, buddy. It’s Christ Himself. Christ Himself, buddy.
Hell is not other people. Other people, if you are open to them, can lead you to God.
[Source for Merton: John Michael Talbot, The World Is My Cloister, quoted in Leach & Goodnough, eds, A Maryknoll Book of Inspiration. Source for J.D. Salinger: Franny & Zooey]