Growing in love – 11 quotes from Thomas Keating book – Intimacy With God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer

by Mark Votava

7244521. The present moment

“We must seek God more and more in the present moment, which is in fact the only place where God can be found…”

2. God is present to everything

“God is present to everything… Yet we, in our turn, may not be present to God…”

3. Disintegration, distress, confusion, and darkness

“Every time we move to a new level of faith, there is an initial experience of disintegration, distress, confusion, and darkness. If we are not forewarned about the spiritual journey, it feels like something has gone wrong… This is the normal way that the present level of our understanding – our attitude toward ourselves, other people, and God – experiences that our life just does not work any more at that level. We are challenged or forced to move to a deeper level.”

4. Growing in love

“What moves us from one level to another? That is the question… We just keep listening, growing in trust, and growing in love…”

5. The great unknown

“A trip into the unconscious is a passage into the great unknown…”

6. Fall into silence

“As our idea of God expands, there is no word, no way, no gesture, that can articulate it anymore. Hence we fall into silence, the place we should have been in the first place.”

7. Affirms selfishness as the ultimate value

“We are living in a world that rejects love and that affirms selfishness as the ultimate value. The pressure from society is constantly insinuating itself through our upbringing, education, and culture…”

8. The divine life becoming healthy, strong, and powerful within us

“Our best criteria for judging whether our faith experience is really bearing fruit is in the growth of our desire for God – not a particular desire for this or that experience, but a general loving hunger for God. This is the most certain sign that the divine life is becoming healthy, strong, and powerful within us.”

9. Influenced by the false self

“…our ways of relating to God continue to be influenced by the false self…”

10. As we journey more deeply inward

“…as we journey more deeply inward… its effects lead us powerfully outward, toward… the capacity to relate to one another with the unconditional love with which Christ relates to us.”

11. Personal responsibility for our emotional life

“…one can’t do the spiritual life nowadays without some working knowledge of one’s own psychology. Unless one develops a healthy self-identity, the psychological resources for the journey are lacking. People who have been injured in early childhood and do not have a strong ego because they were oppressed or abused do not have a self to give to God. They do not have a self to relate either to God or to anybody else… They don’t want to take responsibility for themselves and the damage that was done to them early in life. They prefer external obedience to inner transformation. But without personal responsibility for our emotional life, however wounded it is, the journey will never really get off the ground. Our conscious life has to be our starting point, of course, but the biggest problem is our unconscious motivation. But have to be changed.”

What quotes do you like the best?

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