Christ Suffers Most – 12 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – Run to the Mountain: The Journals of Thomas Merton 1939-1941 edited by Patrick Hart

by Mark Votava

51SwzeYappL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_1. Everything that happens to the poor

“Everything that happens to the poor, the meek, the desolate, the mourners, the despised, happens to Christ.”

2. Christ suffers most

“…the saints will come from the poorest of the laity, from the depths of the slums, from the concentration camps and the prisons, from the places where people are starving, bombed, machinegunned and beaten to death.  Because in all these places Christ suffers most…”

3. Pain, suffering, brutality and horror

“It is terrifying that the world doesn’t wake up to this irony: that at a time when all our desire is nothing but to have pleasant sensations and avoid painful sensations there should be almost more pain, and suffering and brutality and horror, and more helplessness to do anything about it than there ever was before!”  

4. We have to be very careful

“We have to be very careful about asking God questions and then answering them ourselves and saying: ‘God answered.’”

5. Until the whole world becomes voluntarily poor

“No law will ever abolish poverty.  No revolution will ever abolish poverty.  Because laws and revolutions are without love, without charity: if poverty is ever abolished, it will not be only because of laws.  Poverty will never be abolished as long as anybody loves riches.  Poverty will never be abolished until the whole world becomes voluntarily poor.”

6. Love is the purest kind of activity

“Love is the purest kind of activity we know…”

7. That I may be really poor

“I desire beyond everything that I may be really poor, give up all things, sell all I have and give it to the poor and follow Christ…”

8. The sense of exile

“The sense of exile bleeds inside me like a hemorrhage – it is always the same wound, whether it is a sense of sin, or of loneliness, or of one’s own insufficiency, or of spiritual dryness: they are always the same, in the way we experience them.  In fact, spiritual dryness is one of the most acute experiences of longing we can have – therefore, of love.”

9. Resistance to everything that gives us peace

“I want nothing more than never to have to argue with anyone again as long as I live!  Argument with words only strengthens us in our stubborn resistance to everything that gives us peace – only increases our own prejudices…”

10. That same one who turned back sorrowing

“Now the whole problem of my life is the question – am I that same one who turned back sorrowing because he had many riches?…”

11. The grace to renounce everything

“Every minute a man reflects on himself he is compelled to cry out for the grace to renounce everything and carry his cross…”

12. Where our strength lies

“It is only tribulation [that] can teach us where our strength lies – not in our independence but in our dependence – God is our strength…”

Which quotes do you like the best?

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