At One With The True Self – 10 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – The Silent Life

by Mark Votava

41krGsmoSWL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. Real growth of interior freedom

“For if self-will narrows us down and encloses us within a privacy that is too small to permit real growth of interior freedom, it is clear that unselfish devotion to a common cause is one of the ways in which our freedom and personal autonomy are best able to develop and to mature.”

2. A movement of love and freedom

“…the clear-sighted recognition and mature acceptance of our own limitations is called ‘compunction.’  Compunction is a spiritual grace, an insight into our own depths which, in one glance, sees through our illusions about ourselves, sweeps aside our self-deceptions and daydreams, and shows us ourselves exactly as we are.  But at the same time it is a movement of love and freedom, a liberation from falsity, a glad and grateful acceptance of the truth, with the resolution to live in contact with the deep spiritual reality which has been opened up to our vision: the reality of God’s will in our own lives.”

3. Mysticism is fully realistic

“…mysticism is fully realistic.  It is not a quest for exalted subjective experiences, but a search for Christ…”

4. Discovering Christ in one another

“We share the wine of charity with one another, our hearts burning with compassion and transported with spiritual joy, as we begin to discover Christ in one another…”

5. In the silence of true humility

“…one must have enough maturity to face the real problems of the interior life instead of evading them and camouflaging them.  Such problems are to be solved in the darkness of faith, in the silence of true humility, and in the poverty of a spirit that is willing to be emptied of its self-complacency and to be content when it sees nothing in itself that it can admire.”

6. The purpose of solitude

“The purpose of… solitude is to place the soul in a state of silence and receptivity that will open its spiritual depths to the action of the Holy Spirit who makes known the mysteries of the Kingdom of God and teaches us the unsearchable riches of the love and the wisdom of Christ.”

7. Balance and a sense of humor

“…the solitary must know how to keep his balance and his sense of humor.  Only humility can give him that peace…”

8. The importance of spirit

“…the more solitary a life becomes, the more important is its spirit and the less important the letter of the rule…”

9. Interior meditation

“The silence that is required for this interior meditation is first of all a silence of the tongue, a silence of the body, a silence of the heart…”

10. The joys of silence, the peace of solitude

“The world of men has forgotten the joys of silence, the peace of solitude which is necessary, to some extent, for the fullness of human living.  Not all men are called to be hermits, but all men need enough silence and solitude in their lives to enable the deep inner voice of their own true self to be heard at least occasionally.  When that inner voice is not heard, when men cannot attain to the spiritual peace that comes from being perfectly at one with his own true self, his life is always miserable and exhausting…”

Which quote do you like the best?

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