All That is Beautiful in Nature – 7 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – Thomas Merton Honorable Reader: Reflections On My Work edited by Robert E. Daggy

by Mark Votava

4156RWHXJDL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. The interior life

“One cannot discuss, in detail, man’s knowledge and love of God without seeming to take a rather psychological and ethical view of the interior life…”

2. The unity of Christ

“Every man, to live a life full of significance, is called simply to know the significant interior of life and to find ultimate significance in its proper inscrutable existence, in spite of himself, in spite of the world and appearances, in the Living God.  Every man born on this earth is called to find and realize himself in Christ and, through Him, to comprehend the unity of Christ with all men, so much so that he loves them as they love themselves and is one with them almost as he is one with himself: then the spirit of Christ is one with those who love Him.”

3. It is my destiny to become a contemplative

“One thing I know – that it is my destiny to become a contemplative…”

4. The contemplative life has a place

“…the contemplative life applies wherever there is life.  Wherever man and society exist; where there are hopes, ideals, aspirations for a better future; where there is love – and where there is mingled pain and happiness – there the contemplative life has a place, because life, happiness, pain, ideals, aspirations, work, art and other things have significance.  If these things have no significance, why waste our time on them?  But, if they have significance, then the independent significance of each must converge in some way into a central and universal significance which comes from a hidden reality…”

5. An existence which refuses to face the realities of our time

“There is no truth, no life in an existence which refuses to face the realities of our time…”

6. I say YES to all that is beautiful in nature

“…I also say YES to all that is good in the world and in man.  I say YES to all that is beautiful in nature, and in order that this may be the yes of a freedom and not of subjection.  I must refuse to possess any thing in the world purely as my own.  I say YES to all the men and women who are my brothers and sisters in the world, but for this yes to be an assent of freedom and not of subjection, I must live so that no one of them may seem to belong to me, and that I may not belong to any of them.  It is because I want to be more to them than a friend that I become, to all of them, a stranger.”

7. To live this life of love

“But to live this life of love today requires great courage and patience.  The world is in crisis.  A kind of madness sweeps through human society, threatening to destroy it all together.  The faith, the love and the patience of saints are the only forces that can save us from this destruction.  The Christian, in deep compassion, must seek to help his fellow man to escape from the terrible effects of greed and hatred.  He must therefore be concerned with social justice and with peace on earth.  It would be a great mistake to confuse Christianity with the ideology of power and force which sometimes influences the policies of certain nations that appeal to Christianity to justify themselves.”

Which quote do you like the most?

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

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