Love is My True Identity – 10 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – New Seeds of Contemplation

by Mark Votava

download (9)1. Work together with God in the creation of our own life

“Our vocation is not simply to be, but to work together with God in the creation of our own life, our own identity, our own destiny…”

2. The seeds of my own identity

“The seeds that are planted in my liberty at every moment, by God’s will, are the seeds of my own identity, my own reality, my own happiness, my own sanctity.”

3. 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…”

4. The creative and mysterious inner self

“The creative and mysterious inner self must be delivered from the… destructive ego that seeks only to cover itself with disguises.”

5. Possess my whole heart and soul with the simplicity of love

“…give me the strength that waits upon You in silence and peace.  Give me humility in which alone is rest, and deliver me from pride which is the heaviest of burdens.  And possess my whole heart and soul with the simplicity of love.  Occupy my whole life with the one thought and the one desire of love, that I may love not for the sake of merit, not for the sake of perfection, not for the sake of virtue, not for the sake of sanctity, but for You alone.”

6. Admiring the distance between you and me

“I have what you have not.  I am what you are not.  I have taken what you have failed to take and I have seized what you could never get.  Therefore you suffer and I am happy, you are despised and I am praised, you die and I live; you are nothing and I am something, and I am all the more something because you are nothing.  And thus I spend my life admiring the distance between you and me; at times this even helps me to forget the other men who have what I have not and who have taken what I was too slow to take and who have seized what was beyond my reach, who are praised as I cannot be praised and who live on my death…”

7. A different kind of being

“I will never be able to find myself if I isolate myself from the rest of mankind as if I were a different kind of being.”

8. The man who lives in division

“The man who lives in division is living in death.  He cannot find himself because he is lost: he has ceased to be a reality.  The person he believes himself to be is a bad dream.  And when he dies he will discover that he long ago ceased to exist…”

9. Love is the reason for my existence

“To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love.”

10. Love is my true identity

“Love is my true identity.  Selflessness is my true self.  Love is my true character.  Love is my name.”

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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