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

by Mark Votava

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.