The Call To Love – 6 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Disputed Questions

by Mark Votava

51c4jjN5kVL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. The call to love

“Man’s greatest dignity, his most essential and peculiar power, the most intimate secret of his humanity is his call to love.  This power in the depths of man’s soul stamps him in the image and likeness of God.  Unlike other creatures in the world around us, we have access to the inmost sanctuary of our own being.  We can enter into ourselves as into temples of freedom and light…”

2. To love another as a person

“To love another as an object is to love him as a ‘thing,’ as a commodity which can be used, exploited, enjoyed and then cast off.  But to love another as a person we must begin by granting him his own autonomy and identity as a person.  We have to love him for what he is in himself, and not for the good we get out of him.  And this is impossible unless we are capable of a love which “transforms” us, so to speak, into the other person, making us able to see things as he sees them, love what he loves, experience the deeper realities of his own life as if they were our own.  Without sacrifice, such a transformation is utterly impossible.  But unless we are capable of this kind of transformation ‘into the other’ while remaining ourselves, we are not yet capable of a fully human existence…”

3. Christ in the world, Christ in one another

“Love is the key to the meaning of life.  It is at the same time transformation in Christ and the discovery of Christ.  As we grow in love and in unity with those who are loved by Christ (that is to say, all men), we become more and more capable of apprehending and obscurely grasping something of the tremendous reality of Christ in the world, Christ in one another, and Christ in our fellow man.”

4. Corrupt forms of love

“…corrupt forms of love wait for the neighbor to ‘become a worthy object of love’ before actually loving him.  This is not the way of Christ…  What we are asked to do is to love; and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbor worthy if anything can.”

5. The image and reality of Christ in my own soul

“If I allow the Holy Spirit to work in me, if I allow Christ to use my heart in order to love my brother with it, I will soon find that Christ loving in me and through me has brought to light Christ in my brother.  And I will find that the love of Christ in my brother, loving me in return, has drawn forth the image and the reality of Christ in my own soul.”

6. To enter into life and continue in life

“The command to love creates a new world in Christ.  To obey that command is not merely to carry out a routine duty; it is to enter into life and continue in life. To love is not merely righteousness, it is transformation from brightness to brightness…”  

What quote do you like the most?

Here are some other posts I have done on Thomas Merton and his writings.