We Are One – 11 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – New Seeds of Contemplation

by Mark Votava

download (9)1. One of the paradoxes of the mystical life

“One of the paradoxes of the mystical life is this: that a man cannot enter into the deepest center of himself and pass through that center into God, unless he is able to pass entirely out of himself and empty himself and give himself to other people in the purity of a selfless love.”

2. God is able to love you through me

“When the Love of God is n me, God is able to love you through me and you are able to love God through me…”

3. Barricading yourself inside of your own soul

“And so one of the worst illusions in the life of contemplation would be to try to find God by barricading yourself inside your own soul, shutting out all external reality by sheer concentration and will-power, cutting yourself off from the world and other men by stuffing yourself inside your own mind and closing the door like a turtle.”

4. The exact opposite of contemplation

“For self-hypnotism is the exact opposite of contemplation… But the business of doping your mind and isolating yourself from everything that lives, merely deadens you…”

5. A sea of Love which flows through One body

“The ultimate perfection of the contemplative life is not a heaven of separate individuals, each one viewing his own private intuition of God; it is a sea of Love which flows through One body…”

6. The darkness of faith

“…unity is something we cannot yet realize and enjoy except in the darkness of faith. But even here the more we are one with God the more we are united with one another; and the silence of contemplation is deep, rich and endless society, not only with God but with men. The contemplative is not isolated in himself, but liberated from his external and egotistic self by humility…  – therefore there is no longer any serious obstacle to simple and humble love of other men.”

7. We are with one another

“The more we are alone with God the more we are with one another, in darkness, yet a multitude…”

8. The more we are alone

“The more we are alone, the more we are together… For in my soul and in your soul I find the same Christ Who is our Life…”

9. Love comes out of God

“Love comes out of God and gathers us to God in order to pour itself back into God through all of us…”

10. Let us live in this love and this happiness

“Let us live in this love and this happiness, you and I and all of us, in the love of Christ and in contemplation, for this is where we find ourselves and one another as we truly are. It is only in this love that we at last become real…”

11. We are all One Christ

“…when you and I become what we are really meant to be, we will discover not only that we love one another perfectly but that we are both living in Christ and Christ in us, and we are all One Christ…”

Do you believe that we are all one?

My new book The Mystical Imagination: Seeing the Sacredness of All of Life (2015) is finally done! It is available on kindle and paperback!

“Our crowded, overly-consumed, hyper-active, digitally-addicted lifestyle is draining the life out of us. We are desperate to transcend the chaos and find a better way to live. We need a mystical imagination. Get ready to be transported into the depths of meaning as Votava breaks open the contemplative path and shows you how to live your life to the fullest.” Phileena Heuertz, author of Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life and founding partner, Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism

My first book The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together (2014) is available on kindle and paperback also!

“Inside everyone there is a longing for community, to love and be loved. We are made in the image of a communal God. But in our hyper-mobile, individualistic, cluttered world… community is an endangered thing. And community is like working out – it takes work, sweat, discipline…  without that our muscles atrophy. Everybody wants to be fit, but not too many people want to do the work to get there. Mark’s book is sort of a workout manual, helping you rediscover your communal muscles and start building them up slowly. It is an invitation to live deep in a shallow world.”  Shane Claiborne, author and activist