[Thomas] Merton had recovered the Tao, the way of nature, in all its immediacy and transformative power, by the practice of self-forgetful attentiveness to creation that drew him out of his distorting mental preoccupations. . . . Yearning for paradise was both a Celtic and Cistercian habit of heart that engaged Merton his whole life.

Kathleen Deignan, When the Trees Say Nothing