A Deepening of the Present – 14 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – Entering the Silence: The Journals of Thomas Merton 1941-1952 edited by Jonathan Montaldo

by Mark Votava

51CCO4H7KmL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. Waiting for me to grow up

“I wonder if Jesus ever gets tired of waiting for me to grow up.  I hope not.”

2. When I am alone I am no longer lonely

“…it is when I am with people that I am lonely and when I am alone I am no longer lonely…”

3. An unusual and eccentric pattern

“One thing that disturbs me unreasonably is that my life has what might appear to be an unusual and eccentric pattern…”

4. You don’t really know God’s will

“You don’t really know God’s will in all its details until you have worked it out in your life – given it expression.  Then you know what it is – by doing it…”

5. The vow of stability isn’t something you take just for fun

“I do not belong to myself.  And the vow of stability isn’t something you take just for fun.  It doesn’t mean just a vague promise not to go wandering around without permission…  I no longer have the right to prefer one place to another…”

6. The ordinary pleasures of life

“The ordinary pleasures of life, properly used, do not need to interfere with a deep interior wisdom: they can even contribute to it. Balance and moderation in social living can permit and even help us to live interior lives.”

7. The Pharisees would have nothing to do with God

“The Pharisees would have nothing to do with God because God turned out to be not made in their own image.”

8. Not held, not bound

“To belong to God I have to belong to myself…  I cannot belong to people.  None of me belongs to anybody but God…  No exclusiveness.  Simple and free as the sky because I love everybody and am possessed by nobody, not held, not bound…”

9. A deepening of the present

“Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future.  Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present, you will never find it.”

10. Withdrawal from an artificial and fictional level of being

“Solitude is not merely a negative relationship.  It is not merely the absence of people or of presence with people.  True solitude is a participation in the solitariness of God – Who is in all things…  For us, solitude is not a matter of being something more than other men, except by accident: for those who cannot be alone cannot find their true being and they are less than themselves.  For us solitude means withdrawal from an artificial and fictional level of being…”

11. Finding solitude

“For the first time in my life I am finding you, O solitude.”

12. To live fully and completely in the present

“There is nothing left for me but to live fully and completely in the present…”

13. Taking ourselves too seriously

“I think the chief reason why we have so little joy is that we take ourselves too seriously…”

14. A continual discovery of Christ

“…the contemplative life – is a continual discovery of Christ in new and unexpected places…”

Which quotes do you like the most?

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