Culture of Imagination

connecting spirituality to everyday life

Month: August, 2015

Unity Among Ourselves – 12 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – Survival or Prophecy? The Letters of Thomas Merton & Jean Leclercq edited by Patrick Hart  

51LWPMSbXsL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_1. The more we work for unity among ourselves

“Indeed, I think the more we work for unity among ourselves, the better it will be.”

2. Learning to follow Christ

“Pray that I may learn to follow Christ.”

3. When one is more or less content with the “nothing”

“The question of solitude is no longer any kind of a question.  I leave everything in the hands of God…  I am content.  But the right kind of contentment is a perfect solitude.  When one is more or less content with the ‘nothing’ that is at hand one finds in it everything…”

4. My interior solitude grows more and more

“At least I know that my interior solitude grows more and more.”

5. The tensions and pressures

“…when I have continuous solitude for a more or less extended period, it means a great deal and is certainly the best remedy for the tensions and pressures that I generate when I am with the community.  It is indeed the only really satisfactory remedy that I have been able to find…  Also, this little bit of solitude helps me to appreciate the real values that do exist in the common life, though they certainly manage to get hidden when I get too much of them…”

6. Not imposed on them from the outside

“For some people, the solitary life is their only way of truth, and it is their truth precisely insofar as it is not imposed on them from the outside.  Some people are congenitally incapable of understanding this…”

7. Nothing apparently happens at all

“But it is really an excellent life.  Time takes on a completely different quality and one really lives, even though nothing apparently happens at all…”

8. Never understood money or success 

“That which I see in my own labors is as much a surprise to me as it is to anybody else.  Nor can I find in myself the power to get very interested in that success.  I do not claim this to be a virtue, because I never really understood money anyway.”

9. Requires great energy and attention

“All that I hoped to find in solitude is really here, and more.  At the same time I can see that one cannot trifle with solitude as one can with the common life.  It requires great energy and attention, but of course without constant grace it would be useless to expect these…”

10. United to all of you in the silence of God

“Believe me ever united to all of you in the silence of God…”

11. Our own poverty and weakness 

“The very idea of the solitary life is to live in direct dependence on God, and in constant awareness of our own poverty and weakness.”

12. We must be poor, and live by God alone 

“I have stopped writing, and that is a big relief.  I intend to renounce it for good if I can live in solitude.  I realize that I have perhaps suffered more than I knew from this ‘writing career.’  Writing is deep in my nature, and I cannot deceive myself that it will be very easy for me to do without it.  At least I can get along without the public and without my reputation!  Those are not essentially connected with the writing instinct.  But the whole business tends to corrupt the purity of one’s spirit of faith.  It obscures the clarity of one’s view of God and of divine things.  It vitiates one’s sense of spiritual reality, for as long as one imagines himself to be accomplishing something he tends to become rich in his own eyes. But we must be poor, and live by God alone – whether we write or whatever else we may do.  The time has come for me to enter more deeply into that poverty.”

What is your favorite quote here?

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

Having No Idea Where I am Going – 6 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – Thomas Merton: An Invitation to the Contemplative Life edited by Wayne Simsic

21YJgT2f8BL._BO1,204,203,200_1. I may seem to be lost

“…I have no idea where I am going.  I do not see the road ahead of me.  I cannot know for certain where it will end.  Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.  But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.  And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.  I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.  And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.  Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.  I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

2. A refusal to take things in terms of gift

“But this basic sense of our own being can be blocked, maybe by a refusal to take things in terms of gift, or by our not wanting to have to say thanks to anybody.  Or maybe we want to have life on our own terms, as if it were not a gift but my due.  This attitude goes back to a legalism which is terrible, precisely because, instead of making it possible to accept life as a gift, welling up from within, I make it something that’s coming to me, something I’m owed.”

3. Sad is the case of the exterior self

“Sad is the case of the exterior self that imagines himself contemplative, and seeks to achieve contemplation as the fruit of planned effort and of spiritual ambition.  He will assume varied attitudes, meditate on the inner significance of his own postures, and try to fabricate for himself a contemplative identity: and all the while there is nobody there.  There is only an illusory, fictional ‘I’ which seeks itself, struggles to create itself out of nothing, maintained in being by its own compulsion and the prisoner of his private illusion.”

4. A dialogue of deep wills

“The ever-changing reality in the midst of which we live should awaken us to the possibility of an uninterrupted dialogue with God.  By this I do not mean continuous ‘talk,’… but a dialogue of love and of choice.  A dialogue of deep wills.”

5. Better just to smell a flower

“Better just to smell a flower in the garden or something like that than to have an unauthentic experience of a much higher value.  Better to honestly enjoy the sunshine or some light reading than to claim to be in contact with something that one is not in contact with at all.”

6. At every moment, and deep peace

“Contemplation is really simple openness to God at every moment, and deep peace…”

Which quotes do you like the best?

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

To Truly Find Others – 8 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – The Waters of Siloe

51tAfKkLnlL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. Contradict the image born in our very essence

“We are what we love.  If we love God, in whose image we were created, we discover ourselves… and we cannot help being happy: we have already achieved something of the fullness of which we were destined in our creation.  If we love anything else but God, we contradict the image born in our very essence, and we cannot help being unhappy, because we are a living caricature of what we were meant to be…” 

2. What is your personal identity?

“After all, what is your personal identity?  It is what you really are, your real self.  None of us is what he thinks he is, or what other people think he is, still less what his passport says he is.  Many of us think, no doubt, that we are what we would like to be.  And it is fortunate for most of us that we are mistaken…  That is because… our true personality has been concealed under the ‘disguise’ of a false self, the ego whom we tend to worship in place of God.”

3. To truly find others

“The closer the contemplative is to God, the closer he is to other men.  The more he loves God, the more he can love the men he lives with.  He does not withdraw from them to shake them off, to get away from them, but, in the truest sense, to find them.”

4. Into the soul of the Mystical Christ

“In its highest expression, the fraternal charity of the contemplative seeks a union with other men far beyond mere benevolence and mutual tolerance and good fellowship.  It is a union in which all souls are fused into one – into the soul of the Mystical Christ, in whom they all become one person.”

5. True interior solitude

“True interior solitude is simply the solitude of pure detachment…”

6. Deep interior union with God

“All tradition agrees that without at least interior solitude a man cannot reach deep interior union with God…”

7. When we have to renounce our plans and aspirations

“But when we have to renounce our plans and aspirations for the highest and most spiritual goods and devote ourselves, under obedience or out of charity, to some trivial and distracting series of far less perfect tasks, then the sacrifice can be supremely difficult.  It is all the more so when it turns out that our spirit of faith, being far less pure than we imagined, is not strong enough to enable us to see God’s will in duties that do not flatter our self-esteem.”

8. True love which gives peace and unites

“If the false love which ruins our peace and destroys all unity among men is self-love or our own will… it seems that the true love which gives peace and unites us all to one another and to God is the exact opposite.  But the opposite to the private will of one is the common will of all…  For the will of God alone embraces the perfect good of all and can be said to be the true will of all things that are capable of love…”

Which quotes do you like the best?

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

The Change Begins Within Us – 5 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – Echoing Silence: Thomas Merton on the Vocation of Writing edited by Robert Inchausti

41ydKSrYznL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. A fulfillment which must be all my own

“I can no longer see the ultimate meaning of a man’s life in terms of either ‘being a poet’ or ‘being a contemplative’ or even in a certain sense in ‘being a saint’…  It must be something much more immediate than that.  I – and every other person in the world – must say: ‘I have my own special, peculiar destiny which no one else ever has had or ever will have.  There exists for me a particular goal, a fulfillment which must be all my own – nobody else’s – & it does not really identify that destiny to put it under some category’…” 

2. The dissolution of the false self

“One of the strange laws of the contemplative life is that in it you do not sit down and solve problems: you bear with them until they somehow solve themselves. Or until life itself solves them for you.  Usually the solution consists in a discovery that they only existed insofar as they were inseparably connected with your own illusory exterior self.  The solution of most such problems comes with the dissolution of this false self.  And consequently another law of the contemplative life is that if you enter it with the set purpose of seeking contemplation, or worse still, happiness, you will find neither.  For neither can be found unless it is first in some sense renounced.  And again, this means renouncing the illusory self that seeks to be ‘happy’ and to find ‘fulfillment’ (whatever that may mean) in contemplation.  For the contemplative and spiritual self, the dormant, mysterious, and hidden self that is always effaced by the activity of our exterior self does not seek fulfillment.  It is content to be, and in its being it is fulfilled, because its being is rooted in God.”  

3. The ordinary acts of everyday life

“The true philosopher and the true poet become what they are when they ‘go beyond’ philosophy and poetry, and cease to ‘be philosophers’ or to ‘be poets.’  It is at that point that their whole lives become philosophy and poetry – in other words, there is no longer any philosophy or any poetry separable from the unity of their existence.  Philosophy and poetry have disappeared.  The ordinary acts of everyday life – eating, sleeping, walking, etc., become philosophical acts which grasp the ultimate principles of life in life itself and not in abstraction.”

4. The change begins within us

“For the world to be changed, man himself must begin to change it, he must take the initiative, he must step forth and make a new kind of history. The change begins within himself.”

5. Wisdom is lived

“Wisdom is not only speculative, but also practical: that is to say, it is ‘lived.’  And unless one ‘lives’ it, one cannot ‘have’ it.  It is not only speculative but creative.  It is expressed in living signs and symbols.  It proceeds, then, not merely from knowledge about ultimate values, but from an actual possession and awareness of these values as incorporated in one’s own existence.”

Which quotes are your favorite?

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


Too Obsessed With Success – 6 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – Thomas Merton: Spiritual Master edited by Lawrence S. Cunningham

97808091331471. The heresy of individualism

“The heresy of individualism: thinking oneself a completely self-sufficient unit and asserting this imaginary ‘unity’ against all others.  The affirmation of the self as simply ‘not the other.’  But when you seek to affirm your unity by denying that you have anything to do with anyone else, by negating everyone else in the universe until you come down to you: what is there left to affirm?  Even if there were something to affirm, you would have no breath left with which to affirm it.”   

2. The cosmic dance

“The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life, the more we analyze them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity and despair.  But it does not matter much, because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there.  Indeed, we are in the midst of it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it to or not.”

3. To recover your basic natural unity

“The first thing that you have to do, before you start thinking about such a thing as contemplation, is to try to recover your basic natural unity, reintegrate your compartmentalized being into a coordinated and simple whole, and learn to live as a unified human person.  This means that you have to bring back together the fragments of your distracted existence so that when you say ‘I’ there is really someone present to support the pronoun you have just uttered.”

4. Indefinable quality of our living being

“The inner self is not a part of our being, like a motor in a car.  It is our entire substantial reality itself, on its highest and most personal and most existential level.  It is like life, and it is life: it is our spiritual life when it is most alive.  It is the life by which everything else in us lives and moves.  It is in and through and beyond everything that we are.  If it is awakened it communicates a new life to the intelligence in which it lives, so that it becomes a living awareness of itself: and this awareness is not so much something that we ourselves have, as something that we are.  It is a new and indefinable quality of our living being.”

5. The contemplative intuition

“…the contemplative intuition of reality is a perception of value: a perception which is not intellectual or speculative, but practical and experiential.  It is not just a matter of observation but of realization.  It is not something abstract and general, but concrete and particular.  It is a personal grasp of the existential meaning and value of reality.”

6. Too obsessed with success

“If you are too obsessed with success, you will forget to live.  If you have learned only how to be a success, your life has probably been wasted…”

Which quotes do you like the best?

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

A Mystical Awareness – 14 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Bread in the Wilderness

download (15)1. The gift of ourselves

“The secret of contemplation is the gift of ourselves to God…”

2. In the midst of a discovery

“We are transformed in the midst of a discovery…”

3. A living and active part in the Mystery of Christ

“The Church must take a living and active part in the Mystery of Christ…”

4. Our growth in Christ is growth in charity

“Our growth in Christ is growth in charity.  Charity is created and strengthened within us by the action of the Holy Spirit – most of all in times of trial and sacrifice, because it is then that we are pressed and compelled, by circumstances, to make heroic choices that confirm our union with Christ…  For Christ without the cross is not Christ…”

5. Love is what makes us saints

“Sanctity and love are not born in us by the love of pain for pain’s own sake.  Suffering is not the cause of holiness but only its occasion.  Love, expressed in sacrifice, is what makes us saints.  We are made saints not by undergoing pain but by overcoming it.”

6. The great paradox of charity

“This is the great paradox of charity: that unless we are selfish enough to desire to become perfectly unselfish, we have not charity.  And unless we love ourselves enough to seek perfect happiness in the total forgetfulness of ourselves, we will never find happiness.  Charity is a self-interest which seeks fulfillment in the renunciation of all its interests.  If I have charity I will seek my highest good in God…”

7. All men seek God

“All men seek God, whether they know it or not…”

8. The mystic

“The… mystic seeks above all the mind and truth of God…”

9. The language of revelation

“The language of revelation is mysterious not in order that its meaning may be concealed from us, but in order that we may be moved to seek it with a more fervent love…”

10. Gentleness, humility and love

“Just as Jesus patiently suffered injustice, calumny, abuse and physical torture, so too we must make an effort to accept the hardships and pains and trials and misfortunes of life, and even to embrace voluntary privations and sacrifices, with something of His gentleness, humility and love…”

11. Charity and mystical transformation

“Charity is the only power, the only ‘Law’ that can effect this mystical transformation…  Charity is our only deliverance from human limitations…”

12. A gift of God

“Contemplation, is a gift of God…”

13. A mystical awareness

“Ultimately, the spiritual understanding of Scripture leads to a mystical awareness of the Spirit of God… living and working in our own souls…”

14. A movement of love

“In actual fact, then, ‘living faith’ is a faith that obscurely responds to the reality of God by a movement of love.  Faith is penetrated with love.  It only establishes a living contact between the soul and God in so far as it is vitalized by charity.  But the more intense is the love that moves us to seek God beneath the analogical formulas for revealed truth, the more vital will be the grasp of our faith on the hidden reality of God.  So, in the experience of living faith our ‘eyes our held’ in so far as the intellect is in darkness and assents without intrinsic evidence to the truths proposed to us.  We do not realize how close God is to us, and yet ‘our hearts burn within us’ because of the ardor of our love.”

Which quotes do you like the best?

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

How Little We Listen – 13 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – A Vow of Conversation: Journals 1964-1965 edited by Naomi Burton Stone

5176F5RY9ML._SX301_BO1,204,203,200_1. Solitude puts you with your back to the wall

“Solitude puts you with your back to the wall, or your face to it, and this is good…”

2. There is a will and intention of God bearing upon me

“One thing is clear, that there is a will and intention of God bearing upon me, and I must let it bear fully on me, so that I may be free…”

3. Solitude is not something to play with

“Solitude is not something to play with from time to time…”

4. Through darkness and crisis

“I dare to hope for change, not only quantitative but qualitative too; such change must come through darkness and crisis, not joyous and painless adventure…”

5. Poured out as a liberation

“I see more and more that now I must desire nothing else than to be ‘poured out as a liberation’ to give and surrender my being without concern…”

6. Solitude can wreck you

“I see more and more that solitude is not something to play with.  It is deadly serious, and much as I have wanted it, I have not been serious enough about it.  It is not enough just to ‘like solitude’ or love it even.  Even if you like it, solitude can wreck you, I believe, if you desire it only for your own sake.”

7. There is great beauty and peace in the life of silence

“…there is great beauty and peace in the life of silence and emptiness.  But to merely fool around with it brings awful desolation.  When one is trifling, even the beauty of the life suddenly becomes implacable.  Solitude is a stern mother who brooks no nonsense.  And the question arises – am I so full of nonsense that she will cast me out?”

8. In the poor, the defenseless

“Christ continues to suffer his passion in the poor, the defenseless…  Those who love power are destroyed together with what they love…”

9. Listening and obedience

“This listening and this obedience make one’s existence fruitful and give fruitfulness to all one’s others acts…”

10. How little we listen

“When we understand how little we listen… we realize how important this inner work is.  And we see how badly prepared we are to do it.”

11. For “being” anything is a distraction

“’Solitude’ becomes for me less and less of a specialty, more and more just life itself.  I do not seek to ‘be a solitary’ or anything else, for ‘being’ anything is a distraction.  It is enough to ‘be’ in an ordinary human mode with one’s hunger and sleep, one’s cold and warmth, rising and going to bed, putting on blankets and taking them off…”  

12. Contemplative intuition

“A contemplative intuition, yet this is perfectly ordinary, everyday seeing – what everybody ought to see all the time…”

13. Whole days without speaking

“It is good to go at least for whole days without speaking…”

Which quotes do you like the best?

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

Deep Inner Patience – 7 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – The Road to Joy: Letters to New and Old Friends edited by Robert E. Daggy

512NQR36S9L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. We have got to do some thinking for ourselves

“I think that we citizens of the United States, as a nation, ought to make more serious efforts to act our age and think in proportion to our size.  For this, a whole lot of people who never thought about anything serious in their lives are going to have wake up and start thinking about their moral and political responsibilities.  It is no good going on emotions and prejudices and slogans and feelings of righteous indignation.  It is no good simply letting our minds become a passive reflection of a television screen.  It is no good going around shouting something that someone else has suggested that we shout, no matter what it may be.  If we want to become a seriously political nation, the people have got to do some thinking for themselves.”

2. Money and power and comfort and having a good time

“Liberty begins inside your own souls.  Our souls cannot be free if we believe only in money and power and comfort and having a good time…” 

3. Life tends to get a little lonely sometimes

“I know that as one grows older life tends to get a little lonely sometimes, but we have to look at that in the right way: it can bring us closer to God…”

4. A deep inner patience

“Most of you, even with all that you have to suffer, are much better off than you realize.  Yet the heart of man can be full of so much pain, even when things are exteriorly ‘all right.’  It becomes all the more difficult because today we are used to thinking that there are explanations for everything.  But there is no explanation for most of what goes on in our own hearts, and we cannot account for it all.  No use resorting to the kind of mental tranquilizers that even religious explanations sometimes offer.  Faith must be deeper than that, rooted in the unknown and in the abyss of darkness that is the ground of our being.  No use teasing the darkness to try to make answers grow out of it.  But if we learn how to have a deep inner patience, things solve themselves, or God solves them if you prefer: but do not expect to see how.  Just learn to wait, and do what you can and help other people.  Often in helping someone else we find the best way to bear with our own trouble.” 

5. The futility of a life wasted in argument

“When one gets older… one realizes the futility of a life wasted in argument when it should be given entirely to love.”

6. The conversion of my own life

“As for me, the job of renewal boils down to the conversion of my own life.  That is quite a job in itself…”

7. A deep authentic community of love

“The times are difficult.  They call for courage and faith.  Faith is in the end a lonely virtue.  Lonely especially where a deep authentic community of love is not an accomplished fact, but a job to be begun over and over…”

Which quotes do you like the best?

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

The Wounds of Division – 7 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – Witness to Freedom: Letters in Times of Crisis edited by William H. Shannon

download (14)1. Broken through into a whole new region of life

“I think it is important to face the fact that modern man, whether he likes it or not, leads a life that is low in authenticity.  Things are decided for him, foisted on him, and even experienced for him by others.  His existence is more and more secondhand, and even his moments of truth tend to be fabricated for him.  That is the problem.  I would say that as a result of this, the real moments of truth that do obviously occur (since where there is life there is resistance to inauthenticity) appear at first to be quite other than they are.  In fact, rather than the dramatic confrontation with ‘reality’ or whatever you want to call the bull, one simply takes a new road without thinking too much about it, and discovers ten miles later that it is new and one has in fact broken through into a whole new region of life.  That is the way it generally is with me.  I seem to realize only later that a moment of truth was just that.”

2. Entering more authentically into direct contact with life

“I would say that there is one basic idea that should be kept in mind in all the changes we make in life, whether of career or anything else.  We should decide not in view of better pay, higher rank, ‘getting ahead,’ but in view of becoming more real, entering more authentically into direct contact with life, living more as a free and mature human person, able to give myself more to others, able to understand myself and the world better.”

3. Becoming uncharitable and ineffectual

“…by telling ourselves that we were not of this world we have actually made it easier for ourselves to be worldly in a manner that is very often not only uncharitable but also very ineffectual as well.”

4. Not so much concerned with burning social questions

“But on the whole the Church is too cautious, too inert, and too slow to have a really creative influence in social affairs.  She never leads.  She always follows, often with rather pathetic attempts to scramble onto the back of somebody else’s bandwagon.  One gets the feeling that she is not so much concerned with burning social questions as with showing the masses she is really on their side – while at the same time not antagonizing those in power…”

5. The wounds of division

“The Church is Christ, often a wounded and bleeding Christ, surely more often bleeding than glorious, in this age of history.  Let us be very careful and faithful about avoiding everything that makes the wounds of division bleed more…”

6. Without having to look over my shoulder

“All I am entitled to is my own particular direction, which is a straight line into the void and the wilderness without having to look over my shoulder and see whether anyone else is coming along…”

7. Can’t easily evade the embarrassment

“But I can’t easily evade the embarrassment that Church people cause in me perpetually.”

Which quote do you like the best?

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

The Friendship of Love – 10 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – The Hidden Ground of Love: Letters on Religious Experience and Social Concerns edited by William H. Shannon

51CCCAHK6ML._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_1. The utter nonsense of everything

“But it certainly is a wonderful thing to wake up suddenly in the solitude of the woods and look up at the sky and see the utter nonsense of everything, including all the solemn stuff given out by professional asses about the spiritual life: and simply to burst out laughing, and laugh and laugh, with the sky and the trees because God is not in words, and not in systems, and not in liturgical movements, and not in ‘contemplation’ with a big C, or in asceticism or anything like that…  Certainly not in books.  I can go on writing them, for all that, but one might as well make paper airplanes out of the whole lot.”

2. Love has been buried under words, noise, plans, projects

“…the fact that we cannot find any way out of the suffering, is perhaps a sign of hope.  I do not pretend to understand the situation or to analyze anything…  What is wanted is love.  But love has been buried under words, noise, plans, projects, systems, and apostolic gimmicks.  And when we open our mouths to do something about it we add more words, noise, plans, etc.  We are afflicted with the disease of constant talking with almost nothing to say…  We have to be heroic in our obedience to God.  And that may mean cutting through a whole forest of empty talk and clichés and nonsense…  To obey always and not know for sure if we are really obeying.  That is not fun at all, and people like to get around the responsibility by entering into a routine of trivialities in which everything seems clear and noble and defined: but when you look at it honestly it falls apart, for it is riddled with absurdity from top to bottom…”

3. A compassionate and receptive soil for the future

“…if we can just prepare a compassionate and receptive soil for the future, we will have done a great work.  I feel at least that this is the turn my own life ought to take.”

4. Risk and struggle, and possible failure

“…the law of the spiritual life is the law of risk and struggle, and possible failure…”

5. The friend and brother of people everywhere

“I believe my vocation is essentially that of a pilgrim and an exile in life, that I have no proper place in this world but that for that reason I am in some sense to be the friend and brother of people everywhere, especially those who are exiles and pilgrims like myself…  My life is in many ways simple, but it is also a mystery which I do not attempt to really understand, as though I were led by the hand in a night where I see nothing…”

6. Listening to God

“What is the contemplative life if one doesn’t listen to God in it?…”

7. The love of friendship

“Disinterested love is also called the ‘love of friendship,’ that is to say a love which rests in the good of the beloved, not in one’s own interest or satisfaction, not in one’s own pleasure.  A love which does not exploit, manipulate, even by ‘serving,’ but which simply ‘loves.’  A love which… simply ‘loves because it loves’ and for no other reason or purpose, and is therefore perfectly free…”

8. Far beyond the reach of narcissism

“But pure love, disinterested love, is far beyond the reach of narcissism…”

9. Learning to listen

“And the simple fact that by being attentive, by learning to listen (or recovering the natural capacity to listen which cannot be learned any more than breathing), we can find ourself engulfed in such happiness that it cannot be explained: the happiness of being at one with everything in that hidden ground of Love for which there can be no explanations.”

10. The silence that is printed in the center of our being

“May we all grow in grace and peace, and not neglect the silence that is printed in the center of our being.  It will not fail us…”

Which quotes do you like the best?

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