Culture of Imagination

connecting spirituality to everyday life

Month: September, 2015

Disciplined Experience – 10 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Contemplation in a World of Action

51Xo2PA2R+L._SL500_AA300_1. The question of identity

“The question of identity and of meaning in our personal life can never be adequately answered by logic but only by life itself.  Yet we live in a world where words, formulas, official answers and a seemingly logical system may pretend to decide everything for us in advance…”

2. The cultivation of certain inner conditions

“The need for discipline is the same need for watchfulness, for readiness…  It implies the cultivation of certain inner conditions of awareness, of openness, of readiness for the new and the unexpected.  Specifically, it implies an openness to, a readiness for, what is not normally to be found in an existence where our attention is dissipated and exhausted in other things…”

3. True discipline

“True discipline is interior and personal…”

4. The real purpose of openness

“The real purpose of openness is to renew life in the Spirit, life in love.  A greater love and understanding of people is no obstacle to a true growth in contemplation, for contemplation is rooted and grounded in charity.  A more generous sharing of the values of the contemplative life will increase our love instead of diminishing it.  It will also increase our understanding of and appreciation for our own vocation.  Obviously, a great deal of prudence will be required, but we should not be so afraid of mistakes that we fail to make necessary changes.  If we face change in a courageous spirit of faith, the Holy Spirit will take care of the rest.”

5. I am the world just as you are

“In fact, I am the world just as you are!  Where am I going to look for the world first of all if not in myself?”

6. Can we really decide effectively for a better world?

“Nowadays when we talk so much of freedom, commitment, ‘engagement,’ and so on, it becomes imperative to ask whether the choices we are making have any meaning whatever.  Do they change anything?  Do they get us anywhere?  Do we really choose to alter the direction of our lives or do we simply comfort ourselves with the choice of making another choice?  Can we really decide effectively for a better world?”

7. A certain depth of disciplined experience

“A certain depth of disciplined experience is a necessary ground for fruitful action.  Without a more profound human understanding derived from exploration of the inner ground of human existence, love will tend to be superficial and deceptive…”

8. Rigidity and limitation

“When rigidity and limitation become ends in themselves they no longer favor growth; they stifle it.”

9. In the midst of change

“If we’re not able to be contemplatives in the midst of change, if we insist on being contemplatives in some completely stable situation which we imagine we are going to construct in the future, then we’re never going to be contemplatives.”

10. The imagination is a discovering faculty

“The imagination is a discovering faculty, a faculty for seeing relationships, for seeing meanings that are special and even quite new.  The imagination is something which enables us to discover unique present meaning in a given moment of our life.  Without imagination the contemplative life can be extremely dull and fruitless.”

Which quote do you like the best?

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

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A Deepening of Awareness – 10 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

download (16)1. The self we have created

“We are all too ready to believe that the self that we have created out of our more or less inauthentic efforts to be real in the eyes of others is a ‘real self.’  We even take it for our identity.  Fidelity to such a nonidentity is of course infidelity to our real person, which is hidden in mystery.  Who will you find that has enough faith and self-respect to attend to this mystery and to begin by accepting himself as unknown?  God help the man who thinks he knows all about himself.”

2. To stop really living

“To cling to something, to know one has it, to want to use it more, to squeeze all the enjoyment out of it: to do this consciously is to stop really living…”

3. Our attitude toward nature

“Should I really experience nature as alien and heartless?  Should I be prepared to imagine that this alienation from nature is real, and that an attitude of sympathy, of oneness with it, is only imaginary?  On the contrary – we have a choice of projections.  Our attitude toward nature is simply an extension of our attitude toward ourselves, and toward one another.  We are free to be at peace with ourselves and others, and also with nature.”

4. Meditation on the automobile

“Meditation on the automobile, what it is used for, what it stands for – the automobile as weapon, as self-advertisement, as brothel, as a means of suicide, etc. – might lead us at once right into the heart of all contemporary American problems: race, war, the crisis of marriage, the flight from reality into myth and fanaticism, the growing brutality and irrationality of American mores.”

5. Unless we see we cannot think

“The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds and makes all political and social life a mass illness.  Without this housecleaning we cannot begin to see.  Unless we see we cannot think…”

6. A deepening of awareness

“Solitude has its own special work: a deepening of awareness that the world needs.  A struggle against alienation.  True solitude is deeply aware of the world’s needs.  It does not hold the world at arm’s length.”

7. The strength of God in me

“Perhaps I am most afraid of the strength of God in me…”

8. The mentality of a “Christ-killer”

“When will we learn that ‘being good’ may easily mean having the mentality of a ‘Christ-killer?’”

9. One of the characteristics of our time

“We fear the thought of suicide, and yet we need to think rationally about it, if we can, because one of the characteristics of our time is precisely that it is suicidal.”

10. We create problems that should never arise

“So we create problems that should never arise, simply because we ‘believe’ with our mind, but heart and body do not follow.  Or else the heart and the emotions drive on in some direction of their own, with the mind in total confusion.  The damnable abstractedness of the ‘spiritual life’ in this sense is ruining people…”

Which quotes do you like the best?

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

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One Human Family, One World – 7 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Love and Living edited by Naomi Burton Stone and Patrick Hart

510p+r97PhL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_1. If you have learned only to be a success

“Life does not have to be regarded as a game in which scores are kept and somebody wins.  If you are too intent on winning, you will never enjoy playing.  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…”

2. The future is bursting in on you all the time

“We Americans have to keep buying and consuming.  The worst thing you can do here in America is to hold on to the past when the future is bursting in on you all the time in the form of new cars, new fashion designs, new houses, new styles of life.  What was once satisfactory is now suddenly discovered to be inadequate, obsolete.  There is an urgent need for new attitudes, a demand for a whole new way of doing things, because all of a sudden there is the feeling that things are getting away from you and that if you do not come up with new ideas fast, if you do not consume the new products fast, you are going to be left behind.”

3. We are the world

“We must begin by frankly admitting that the first place in which to go looking for the world is not outside us but in ourselves.  We are the world.  In the deepest ground of our being we remain in metaphysical contact with the whole of that creation in which we are only small parts.  Through our senses and our minds, our loves, needs, and desires, we are implicated, without possibility of evasion, in this world of matter and of men, of things and of persons, which not only affect us and change our lives but are also affected and changed by us.  From the moment we sit down at the table and put a piece of bread in our mouths, we see that we are in the world and cannot be otherwise than in it, until the day we die.  The question, then, is not to speculate about how we are to contact the world – as if we were somehow in outer space – but how to validate our relationship, give it a fully honest and human significance, and make it truly productive and worthwhile for our world.”

4. So addicted to war

“…man is so addicted to war that he cannot possibly deal with his addiction.  And yet if he does not learn to cope with it, the addiction will ruin him altogether.”

5. Discovering our true selves

“We discover our true selves in love…”

6. Responsible for the good of others

“…the Christian is not only one who seeks the expansion and development of his own individuality and the satisfaction of his most legitimate natural needs but one who recognizes himself responsible for the good of others…”

7. One human family, one world

“Man is now not only a social being; his social nature transcends national and regional limits, and whether we like it or not, we must think in terms of one human family, one world.”

Which quotes do you like the best?

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

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Unity and Diversity – 7 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – The Springs of Contemplation

41uoFywPbuL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. Community is presence

“Presence is what counts.  It’s important to realize that the Church itself is presence…  Community is presence, not an institution.  We’ve been banking on the ability to substitute institution for the reality of presence, and it simply won’t work.”

2. To be silent together

“The justification of silence in our life is that we love one another enough to be silent together.  Once we get into the depths of community life, we realize that there is a very special duty and grace in being silent together, but we don’t arrive at this by excluding others or treating them as objects.  It happens gradually as we learn to love.”

3. Not at all impressed by mere words

“Since noise is increasing in all directions, the psychology of silence has taken on a special meaning.  We are already so adapted to an abundance of screeching sounds that we are surprised when stillness suddenly envelops us.  Not that this happens very often!  We begin to see that the whole question of our relation to the world, both positive and negative, centers in something like silence.  So our service to the world might simply be to keep a place where there is no noise, where people can be silent together.  This is an immense service if only because it enables people to believe such a thing is still possible.  Think of the despair of people who have given up all hope of ever having a real silence where they can simply be alone quietly.  To come to a place where silence exists, to realize there are people who are content to listen and to live in silence impresses people today who are not at all impressed by mere words.”

4. We listen to the depth of our own being

“This is where silence comes in.  We listen to the depth of our own being, and out of this listening comes a rich silence, the silence of God…”

5. Not compatible with love

“Cruelty in the name of community life – no matter who does it, the people needing to change or the people who don’t see the need – is simply not compatible with love.”

6. Unity and diversity

“A community really equals love.  And contemplation is not an individualistic matter, it takes place in a cultural context.  Community means a place in which it is most simple and easy for anybody who’s going to be a contemplative to be one, because of the community.  But community is not just a means.  It’s an end, too.  We each have our personal end and our communal end.  Unity and diversity.  Community is one end.  Then people have diversity of function in this community.”

7. Through our love

“Christ’s word is: Love one another.  Community.  Live in community, have community of love, let God dwell right here among you.  God is experientially present, and we are aware that God is with us.  This is contemplation, isn’t it, the experience of the nearness and closeness of God?  Therefore, if we love, the love which makes us love one another in community is that which makes us contemplatives.  Because we love, God is present.  Contemplation is presence.  The presence of love to one another goes with the presence of God to oneself.  It is in community that this Presence realizes itself through our love.  Love of God, love of one another…  Seeking God together, seeking God individually.”

Which quotes stand out to you?

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

The Sacredness of Life – 13 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – New Seeds of Contemplation

download (9)1. If we believe in the Incarnation

“And indeed, if Christ become Man, it is because He wanted to be any man and every man.  If we believe in the Incarnation of the Son of God, there should be no one on earth in whom we are not prepared to see, in mystery, the presence of Christ.”

2. What matters in the contemplative life

“What matters in the contemplative life is not for you… to be always infallibly right, but for you to be heroically faithful to grace and to love…”

3. Very gradual steps

“It is more ordinary for the spirit to learn contemplation from God not in a sudden flash but imperceptibly, by very gradual steps.  As a matter of fact, without the groundwork of long and patient trial and slow progress in the darkness of pure faith, contemplation will never really be learned at all…”

4. The surest sign of strength

“Humility is the surest sign of strength.”

5. Rather than risk failure

“Do not be one of those who, rather than risk failure, never attempts anything.”

6. To hope is to risk frustration

“To hope is to risk frustration.  Therefore, make up your mind to risk frustration.”

7. Involves us in struggle

“A ‘faith’ that merely confirms us in opinionatedness and self-complacency may well be an expression of theological doubt.  True faith is never merely a source of spiritual comfort.  It may indeed bring peace, but before it does so it must involve us in struggle.  A ‘faith’ that avoids this struggle is really a temptation against true faith.”

8. It is dangerous to go into solitude

“…it is dangerous to go into solitude merely because you like to be alone.”

9. To live in communion

“Mere living alone does not isolate a man, mere living together does not bring men into communion.  The common life can either make one more of a person or less of a person, depending whether it is truly common life or merely life in a crowd.  To live in communion, in genuine dialogue with others is absolutely necessary if man is to remain human.  But to live in the midst of others, sharing nothing with them but the common noise and general distraction, isolates a man in the worst way, separates him from reality in a way that is almost painless.  It divides him off and separates him from other men and from his true self…”

10. To discover myself in discovering God

“Therefore there is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace and my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God…”

11. The love of God seeks us in every situation

“We must learn that the love of God seeks us in every situation, and seeks our good…”

12. Contemplation cannot be taught

“For contemplation cannot be taught.  It cannot even be clearly explained.  It can only be hinted at, suggested, pointed to, symbolized…”

13. The sacredness of life

“Contemplation is the highest expression of man’s intellectual and spiritual life.  It is that life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive.  It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being…”

Which quotes do you like the best?

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

Communion and Solidarity – 8 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Life and Holiness

thomas-mertonE (1)1. To respond to our vocation in all its depths

“We do not really appreciate the meaning and greatness of our vocation…  Hence we do not have the courage or the strength to respond to our vocation in all its depths.  We unconsciously falsify it, distort its true perspectives, and reduce our Christian life to a kind of genteel and social propriety…  It becomes, in practice, a respectable conformity to what is commonly accepted as ‘good’ in the society in which we live.  The stress is then placed on exterior signs of respectability.”

2. Communion and solidarity

“The idea of ‘holiness’ seems to imply something of communion and solidarity…”

3. The meaning of the word “saint”

“…until we realize that before a man becomes a saint he must first of all be a man in all the humanity and fragility of man’s actual condition, we will never be able to understand the meaning of the word ‘saint.’  Not only were all the saints perfectly human, not only did their sanctity enrich and deepen their humanity, but the Holiest of all the Saints, the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, was himself the most deeply and perfectly human being who ever lived on the face of the earth…”

4. Our ideals have no relation to reality

“Unfortunately we forget that our ideal itself may be imperfect and misleading.  Although our ideal is based on objective norms, we may interpret those norms in a very limited and subjective manner: we may distort them unconsciously to fit our own inordinate needs and expectations.  These needs and expectations of ours, these demands we make on ourselves and on life – on God… – may be much more absurd and illusory than we are capable of realizing.  And therefore our whole idea of perfection, though it may be formulated in words that are theologically irreproachable, may be so utterly unreal in actual practice that we are reduced to helplessness and frustration.  We may ‘even lose our vocation,’ not because we have no ideals, but because our ideals have no relation to reality.”

5. Weaknesses and failures

“We will not be discouraged by our inevitable weaknesses and failures…”

6. Mutual interdependence

“We all need one another, we all complete one another.  God’s will is found in this mutual interdependence…”

7. Each one should cooperate with the Spirit of love, the “bond of unity”

“We are all bound to seek not only our own good, but the good of others…  Divine providence brings us in contact, whether directly or indirectly, with those whose lives we are to play a part… And the Holy Spirit also wills that we should receive from those to whom we give, and give to others from whom we receive…  The will of God is above all that each one should cooperate as freely as possible with the Holy Spirit of love, the ‘bond of unity.’”

8. Inadequate ideas of God and the church

“Our ideals must surely be tested in the most radical way.  We cannot avoid this testing.  Not only must we revise and renew our idea of holiness and of Christian maturity…, but we may also have to confront in our lives inadequate ideas of God and the Church. Indeed, we may have to grapple with actual abuses in the life of Christians, in a so called Christian society, and even in the Church herself.”

Which quotes are your favorite?

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

Gratitude for Life – 10 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – No Man is an Island

41tYJhDcp8L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. The gift of love

“The gift of love is the gift of the power and the capacity to love, and, therefore, to give love with full effect is also to receive it.  So, love can only be kept by being given away, and it can only be given perfectly when it is also received.”

2. When action and contemplation dwell together

“When action and contemplation dwell together, filling our whole life because we are moved in all things by the Spirit of God, then we are spiritually mature…”

3. Mistakes are a part of our life

“Mistakes are part of our life, and not the least important part…  It is by making mistakes that we gain experience, not only for ourselves but for others.  And though our experience prevents neither ourselves nor others from making the same mistake many times, the repeated experience still has a positive value.”

4. A capacity for love

“Both the poverty and the nobility of our inmost being consists in the fact that it is a capacity for love…”

5. Present to ourselves

“Recollection should be seen not as an absence, but as a presence.  It makes us, first of all, present to ourselves.  It makes us present to whatever reality is most significant in the moment of time in which we are living.  And it makes us present to God…”

6. The infinite solitude of God dwelling within us

“Recollection is almost the same thing as interior solitude.  It is in recollection that we discover the finite solitude of our own heart, and the infinite solitude of God dwelling within us.  Unless these vast horizons have opened out in the center of our lives, we can hardly see things in perspective…”

7. Gratitude for life

“For the full fruitfulness of the spiritual life begins in gratitude for life, in the consent to live…”

8. The secrecy, the hiddenness, the solitude of our own individual being

“A person is a person insofar as he has a secret and is a solitude of his own that cannot be communicated to anyone else.  If I love a person, I will love that which most makes him a person: the secrecy, the hiddenness, the solitude of his own individual being, which God alone can… understand.”

9. The secret resources of our own incommunicable personality

“When human society fulfills its true function the persons who form it grow more and more in their individual freedom and personal integrity.  And the more each individual develops and discovers the secret resources of his own incommunicable personality, the more he can contribute to the life and the weal of the whole.  Solitude is as necessary for society as silence is for language and air for the lungs and food for the body.”

10. Where Christ lives and speaks

“If our life is poured out in useless words we will never hear anything in the depths of our hearts, where Christ lives and speaks in silence.  We will never be anything, and in the end, when the time comes for us to declare who and what we are, we shall be found speechless at the moment of the crucial decision: for we shall have said everything and exhausted ourselves in speech before we had anything to say.”

Which quote do you like the best?

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

Into The Unknown – 6 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – The Wisdom of the Desert

519YpqDZSjL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. A complete inner transformation

“The full difficulty and magnitude of the task of loving others is recognized everywhere and never minimized.  It is hard to really love others if love is to be taken in the full sense of the word.  Love demands a complete inner transformation – for without this we cannot possibly come to identify ourselves with our brother.  We have to become, in some sense, the person we love.  And this involves a kind of death of our own being, our own self.  No matter how hard we try, we resist this death: we fight back with anger, with recriminations, with demands, with ultimatums.  We seek any convenient excuse to break off and give up the difficult task…”

2. Union with one another

“The Christian mystics of all ages sought and found not only the unification of their own being, not only union with God, but union with one another in the Spirit of God.  To seek a union with God that would imply complete separation, in spirit as well as in body from all the rest of mankind, would be to a Christian saint not only absurd but the very opposite of sanctity.  Isolation in the self, inability to go out of oneself to others, would mean incapacity for any form of self-transcendence.  To be thus the prisoner of one’s own selfhood is, in fact, to be in hell…”

3. Love is the spiritual life

“Love in fact is the spiritual life, and without it all the other exercises of the spirit, however lofty, are emptied of content and become mere illusions.  The more lofty they are, the more dangerous the illusion.”

4. The most important of all voyages of discovery

“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?  This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it all the rest are not only useless but disastrous…”

5. Strike out fearlessly into the unknown

“We cannot do exactly what they did.  But we must be as thorough and as ruthless in our determination to break all spiritual chains, and cast off the domination of alien compulsions, to find our true selves, to discover and develop our inalienable spiritual liberty and use it to build, on earth, the Kingdom of God.  This is not the place in which to speculate what our great and mysterious vocation might involve.  That is still unknown.  Let it suffice for me to say that we need to learn from these men of the fourth century how to ignore prejudice, defy compulsions and strike out fearlessly into the unknown.”

6. In desperate need of simplicity

“In any case these Fathers distilled for themselves a very practical and unassuming wisdom that is at once primitive and timeless, and which enables us to reopen the sources that have been polluted or blocked up altogether by the accumulated mental and spiritual refuse of our technological barbarism.  Our time is in desperate need of this kind of simplicity.  It needs to recapture something of the experience reflected in these lines.  The word to emphasize is experience…”

Which quotes do you like the best?

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

Only By Love – 20 quotes from Mahatma Gandhi – Gandhi on Non-Violence edited by Thomas Merton

41wkvsNdpfL._SX301_BO1,204,203,200_1. An inseparable part of our very being

“Non-violence is not a garment to be put on and off at will.  Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our very being.”

2. There is no such thing as defeat in non-violence

“The power at the disposal of a non-violent person is always greater than he would have if he were violent.  There is no such thing as defeat in non-violence.”

3. The eternal law of love

“Jesus lived and died in vain if He did not teach us to regulate the whole of life by the eternal law of love.”

4. Oversweep the world

“My optimism rests on my belief in the infinite possibilities of the individual to develop non-violence.  The more you develop it in your own being, the more infectious it becomes till it overwhelms your surroundings and by and by might oversweep the world.”

5. Transformation of relationships

“A non-violent revolution is not a program of seizure of power.  It is a program of transformation of relationships, ending in a peaceful transfer of power.”

6. Non-violence will prevail

“Non-violence will prevail – whatever man may or may not do…  It will have its way and overcome all obstacles irrespective of the shortcomings of the instruments.”

7. Hatred can be overcome only by love

“Mankind has to get out of violence only through non-violence.  Hatred can be overcome only by love.  Counter-hatred only increases the surface as well as the depth of hatred.”

8. Follow your own inner voice

“I ask nobody to follow me.  Everyone should follow his own inner voice.”

9. What we do in the present

“The future will depend on what we do in the present.”

10. Non-cooperation with everything humiliating

“The first principle of non-violent action is that of non-cooperation with everything humiliating.”

11. Unless now the world adopts non-violence

“Unless now the world adopts non-violence, it will spell certain suicide for mankind.”

12. Cowardice is wholly inconsistent with non-violence

“Non-violence is not a cover for cowardice, but it is the supreme virtue of the brave…  Cowardice is wholly inconsistent with non-violence…”

13. Jesus was the most active resister

“Jesus was the most active resister known perhaps to history.  This was non-violence par excellence.”

14. Hatred will die

“If we remain non-violent, hatred will die as everything does, from disuse.”

15. Non-violence has to be practiced

“Non-violence cannot be preached.  It has to be practiced.”

16. Grow from failure to success

“Nobody can practice perfect non-violence…  We may not be perfect in our use of it, but we definitely discard the use of violence and grow from failure to success.”

17. Treat every human being as equal

“It is time white men learned to treat every human being as their equal.”

18. A living faith in God

“Non-violence succeeds only when we have a living faith in God.”

19. A reformer has to sail not with the current

“A reformer has to sail not with the current.  Very often he has to go against it even though it may cost him his life.”

20. Liberty becomes a mockery

“The cause of liberty becomes a mockery if the price to be paid is the wholesale destruction of those who are to enjoy liberty.”

Which quotes do you like the best?

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

Defending Our Liberty – 10 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – Peace in the Post-Christian Era edited by Patricia A. Burton

5136TSE0RGL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. Every man must in some sense be regarded as Christ

“The doctrine of the Incarnation makes the Christian obligated at once to God and to man.  If God has become man then no Christian is ever allowed to be indifferent to man’s fate.  Whoever believes that Christ is the Word made flesh believes that every man must in some sense be regarded as Christ…  Who can say with absolute certainty of any other man that Christ does not live in him?”

2. Confused, empty and discontented

“The chief reason why we are drifting into nuclear war is that we are confused, empty and discontented.  We have no spiritual and ethical center.  We do not have the motives which would enable us to build a peaceful world, because we do not have a sufficient reason to restrain our violence…”

3. Humanely work together

“It is for us to decide whether we are going to give in to hatred, terror and blind love of power for its own sake, and thus plunge our world into the abyss, or whether, restraining our savagery, we can patiently and humanely work together for interests which transcend the limits of any national or ideological community.”

4. Respecting our neighbor’s life

“Christians therefore have the obligation to treat every other man as Christ himself, respecting his neighbor’s life as if it were the life of Christ, his rights as if they were the rights of Christ…”

5. The hegemony of naked power

“Christianity, in a word, is everywhere yielding to the hegemony of naked power.”

6. Defending our liberty

“But are we so sure that when we speak of defending our liberty, our rights, our personal integrity, we are not purely and simply talking about irresponsibility, good times, a comfortable life, the freedom to make a bit of money.”

7. The central truth that gives meaning to all existence

“To say Christianity is the revelation of love means not simply that Christians are (or should be) nice charitable people.  It means that love is the key to life itself and to the whole meaning of the cosmos and of history.  If Christians, then, are without love they deprive all other men access to the central truth that gives meaning to all existence.”

8. Living example of peace, unity and love

“It must be admitted therefore that if the gospel of peace is no longer convincing on the lips of Christians, it may well be because they have ceased to give a living example of peace, unity and love…”

9. Embody truth in action

“Now above all is the time to embody Christian truth in action even more than in words…”

10. Social action teaches in a way that words never can

“What is needed now is the Christian who manifests the truth of the Gospel in social action, with or without explanation.  The more clearly his life manifests the teaching of Christ, the more salutary it will be.  Clear and decisive Christian social action explains itself, and teaches in a way that words never can.”

Which quotes do you like the best?

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