St. Mary's House Chaplain, my friend and colleague the Rev. Kevin Matthews, began his Christmas sermon with the words below from the writings of Thomas Merton. I just poked around and found them on the Web, quoted by various preachers in various places, but I don't know the source yet (i.e. from which book or essay they are taken). Neither did Kevin, who found the quote among some notes he had. [P.S. Late Dec. 25 . I found the reference. It's from Merton's Raids on the Unspeakable.] He's sending me a copy of his sermon, but meanwhile, the heart of the matter, from our favorite monk.
The line breaks are mine, for better reading and hearing.
Into this world,
this demented inn,
in which there is absolutely no room for him at all,
Christ has come uninvited.
But because he cannot be at home in it,
because he is out of place in it,
and yet he must be in it,
his place is with those others for whom there is no room.
His place is with those who do not belong,
who are rejected by power because they are regarded as weak,
those who are discredited,
who are denied the status of persons,
With those for whom there is no room,
Christ is present in this world.