“As long as one person on this earth suffers, you suffer too. It must be so or there is no validity to living in a place like this. A person does not go to a monastery to escape from the suffering of the world. We enter a monastery [or spiritual life] to discover that our own suffering is not (strictly speaking) our own. It does not belong to us. Rather, our individual suffering, is the suffering of the whole human family manifesting itself in and as our experience of it.” (Thomas Merton in a conversation with James Finley)
"The Ruined" are those countless ones throughout the ages who have encountered the presence of the living God to such an extent that they are "ruined" for the things of this world. They can never return for any extended time to what was formerly known as "normal life." They are burned with a vision of the beauty of God in the face of Christ--and they seek this in everyone and everything they meet.