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

by Mark Votava

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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