On October 12, 1942, Christopher Columbus landed on an island in the western hemisphere, thinking he had arrived in the Far East.
In the introduction to his beautiful little book of selections from the Desert Fathers, The Wisdom of the Desert, Thomas Merton wrote:
“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it all the rest are not only useless but disastrous.
“Proof: the great travelers and colonizers of the Renaissance were, for the most part, men who perhaps were capable of the things they did precisely because they were alienated from themselves. In subjugating primitive worlds, they only imposed on them, with the force of cannons, their own confusion and their own alienation.”