A Theology of Love – 5 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – Thomas Merton: Essential Writings edited by Christine M. Bochen

by Mark Votava

41Y8t75erAL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. The real point of the contemplative life

“The real point of the contemplative life has always been a deepening of faith and of the personal dimensions of liberty and apprehension to the point where our direct union with God is realized and ‘experienced’…”

2. The present war crisis

“The present war crisis is something we have made entirely for and by ourselves.  There is in reality not the slightest logical reason for war, and yet the whole world is plunging headlong into frightful destruction, and doing so with the purpose of avoiding war and preserving peace!  This is a true war-madness, an illness of the mind and the spirit that is spreading with a furious and subtle contagion all over the world.  Of all the countries that are sick, America is perhaps the most grievously afflicted.  On all sides we have people building bomb shelters where, in case of nuclear war, they will simply bake slowly instead of burning up quickly or being blown out of existence in a flash.  And they are prepared to sit in these shelters with machine guns with which to prevent their neighbor from entering.  This is a nation that claims to be fighting for religious truth along with freedom and other values of the spirit.  Truly we have entered the ‘post-Christian era’ with a vengeance.  Whether we are destroyed or whether we survive, the future is awful to contemplate.”

3. A theology of love

“A theology of love cannot afford to be sentimental.  It cannot afford to preach edifying generalities about charity, while identifying ‘peace’ with mere established power and legalized violence against the oppressed.  A theology of love cannot be allowed merely to serve the interests of the rich and powerful, justifying their wars, their violence, and their bombs, while exhorting the poor and underprivileged to practice patience, meekness, longsuffering and to solve their problems, if at all, nonviolently.”

4. This inner dimension of life

“The real inner life and freedom of man begin when this inner dimension opens up and man lives in communion with the unknown within him.  On the basis of this he can also be in communion with the same unknown in others…  Possibly our society will be wrecked because it is completely taken up with externals and has no grasp on this inner dimension of life.”

5. The interior, the silent, the contemplative

“There is another essential aspect of Christianity: the interior, the silent, the contemplative, in which hidden wisdom is more important than practical organizational science, and in which love replaces the will to get visible results.  The New Man must not be a one-sided and aggressive activist: he must also have depth, he must be able to be silent, to listen to the secret voice of the Spirit.  He must renounce his own will to dominate and let the Spirit act secretly in and through him.”

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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