Culture of Imagination

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Tag: Contemplation in a World of Action

A Desert of Questioning and Paradox – 10 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Contemplation in a World of Action

51Xo2PA2R+L._SL500_AA300_1. A desert of questioning and paradox

“Are our efforts to be more ‘communal’ and to be more of a ‘family’ really genuine or are they only new ways to be intolerant of the solitude and integrity of the individual person? Are we simply trying to submerge and absorb him and keep him from finding an identity that might express itself in dissent and in a desire for greater solitude? Are we simply trying to guard against his entering a ‘desert’ of questioning and paradox that will disturb our own complacencies?”

2. A more authentic and honest way

“The question remains: can we adjust our life and our view of our life in such a way that it will be capable of being lived in a more authentic and honest way…”

3. Interior and personal

“True discipline is interior and personal…”

4. The pursuit of power for its own sake

“The great problem of our time is not to formulate clear answers to neat theoretical questions but to tackle the self-destructive alienation of man in a society dedicated in theory to human values and in practice to the pursuit of power for its own sake…”

5. Something essential is missing

“But if there is no sense at all of the urgency of inner development, no aspiration to growth and ‘rebirth,’ or if it is blandly assumed that all this is automatically taken care of by a correct and lively communal celebration, something essential is missing.”

6. Contemplation is a bad word

“‘Contemplation’ is a bad word… We are failing in the prophetic aspects of our vocation. Why? Perhaps because we belong to a Christianity so deeply implicated in a society which has outlived its spiritual vitality and yet is groping for a new expression of life in crisis…”

7. What is meant by openness?

“Now an important question: What is meant by ‘openness’? As a matter of fact, it is not quite certain just what openness is going to mean in practice for contemplatives: that is something we have to discover by experiment…”

8. An opportunity to be quiet, to reflect

“Being ‘open to the world’ means being more accessible to people of flesh and blood… The poor, materially and spiritually. Our relatives and friends. Men and women who are looking for something they need, without being able to identify it precisely… What people seek today is not so much the organized, predigested routine of conferences and exercises, but an opportunity to be quiet, to reflect, and to discuss in informal, spontaneous and friendly encounters the things they have on their minds…”

9. A real depth of interior experience

“Few have a real depth of spiritual consciousness and a real depth of interior experience…”

10. The foundation of everything familiar are menaced

“We’re living in a world in revolution. The foundations of everything familiar are menaced…”

Do you live in a desert of questioning and paradox?

Purchase Contemplation in a World of Action

5 Thomas Merton Books I Really Love A Lot

1. Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander thomasmerton

“We have got ourselves into a position where, because of our misunderstanding of theoretical distinctions between the ‘natural and the supernatural,’ we tend to think that nothing in man’s ordinary life is really supernatural except saying prayers and performing pious acts of one sort or another, pious acts which derive their value precisely from the fact that they rescue us, momentarily, from the ordinary routine of life. And therefore we imagine that Christian social action is not Christian in itself, but only because it is a kind of escalator to unworldliness and devotion. This is because we apparently cannot conceive material and worldly things seriously as having any capacity to be ‘spiritual.’ But Christian social action, on the contrary, conceives man’s work itself as a spiritual reality, or rather it envisages those conditions under which man’s work can recover a certain spiritual and holy quality, so that it becomes for man a source of spiritual renewal, as well as spiritual livelihood.”

2. New Seeds of Contemplation 727578

“As far as the accidentals of this life are concerned, humility can be quite content with whatever satisfies the general run of men. But that does not mean that the essence of humility consists in being just like everybody else. On the contrary, humility consists in being precisely the person you actually are before God, and since no two people are alike, if you have the humility to be yourself you will not be like anyone else in the whole universe. But this individuality will not necessarily assert itself on the surface of everyday life. It will not be a matter of mere appearances, or opinions, or tastes, or ways of doing things. It is something deep in the soul.”

3. The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation edited by William H. Shannon81MA-v3wVDL

“The important thing in contemplation is not enjoyment, not pleasure, not happiness, not peace, but the transcendent experience of reality and truth in the act of a supreme and liberated spiritual love. The important thing in contemplation is not gratification and rest, but awareness, life, creativity, and freedom. In fact, contemplation is man’s highest and most essential spiritual activity…”

4. Contemplation in a World of Action51Xo2PA2R+L._SL500_AA300_

“Growth in experience implies a serious self-doubt and self-questioning in which values previously held seem to be completely exploded and no other tangible values come to take their place… A Discipline that in fact blocks and prohibits development can produce nothing but tragic inertia. In such a case, crisis and upheaval are desirable reactions! They keep us in touch with reality…”

 

5. Faith and Violence: Christian Teaching and Christian Practicedownload (12)

“Can contemplation still find a place in the world of technology and conflict which is ours? Does it belong only to the past? The answer to this is that, since the direct and pure experience of reality in its ultimate root is man’s deepest need, contemplation must be possible if man is to remain human. If contemplation is no longer possible, then man’s life has lost the spiritual orientation upon which everything else – order, peace, happiness, sanity – must depend. But true contemplation is an austere and exacting vocation. Those who seek it are few and those who find it still fewer. Nevertheless, their presence witnesses to the fact that contemplation remains both necessary and possible.”

Have you read any of these books? What do you think of Thomas Merton?

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

Mystical Understanding and Love – 9 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Contemplation in a World of Action

51Xo2PA2R+L._SL500_AA300_1. A huge impersonal machine

“Let us not forget that modern man, or modern woman, at least in the ‘advanced countries,’ is desperately concerned with the problem of giving meaning to a life that is so easily reduced to mere empty routine by the alienating pressures of commercial and technological organization. We are often very keenly aware of the danger of becoming mere ‘mass men,’ frustrated, unidentified cogs in a huge impersonal machine.”

2. A courageous spirit of faith

“The real purpose of openness is to renew life in the Spirit, life in love. A greater love and understanding of people is no obstacle to a true growth in contemplation, for contemplation is rooted and grounded in charity. A more generous sharing of the values of the contemplative life will increase our love instead of diminish it. It will also increase our understanding of and appreciation for our own vocation. Obviously, a great deal of prudence will be required, but we should not be so afraid of mistakes that we fail to make necessary changes. If we face change in a courageous spirit of faith, the Holy Spirit will take care of the rest.”

3. The capacity for mystical understanding and love

“It is by deepening this Christian consciousness and developing the capacity for mystical understanding and love that the Christian contemplative keeps alive… that pure and immediate experience without which theology will always lack one of its most important dimensions.”

4. Our imagination

“Our imagination must be able to click and find correspondences, symbols and meanings. It should point up new meanings. It should create nuclei of meaning around which everything can collect significantly.”

5. So obsessed with “answers” and “solutions”

“…we are so obsessed with the idea that we are supposed to possess ‘answers’ and ‘solutions’ for everything that we evade the difficult problems, which are all too real, by raising other less real problems to which we think we have the answer.”

6. A more authentic and honest way

“The question remains: can we adjust our life and our view of life in such a way that it will be capable of being lived in a more authentic and honest way…”

7. Growth in experience

“Growth in experience implies a serious self-doubt and self-questioning in which values previously held seem to be completely exploded and no other tangible values come to take their place…”  

8. A distortion of the contemplative life

“…it is a distortion of the contemplative life to treat it as if the contemplative concentrated all his efforts on getting graces and favors from God for others and for himself.”

9. The surest sign of immaturity

“The truly modern adult person will surely not allow himself to be treated as an alienated and helpless individual whose inner experience is dictated to him by another and imposed upon him from the outside. It is the surest sign of immaturity to be imposed on entirely by the ideas and ideals of others to substitute these for one’s own true personal experience… of life.”

What resonates with you in these quotes by Thomas Merton? Have you read Contemplation in a World of Action? Any thoughts?

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

The Contemplative Experience – 8 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Contemplation in a World of Action

51Xo2PA2R+L._SL500_AA300_1. Judging others

“The act of judging is an act by which we set ourselves apart as unique, as ‘outside’ the common run of beings, as something totally special and apart, taking a godlike view… of men and events. We ask questions, we ‘have problems,’ we seek to make ‘authentic decisions’ because we believe in this mystification, this spurious and romantic ‘identity’ of the self that stands apart and affirms itself by judging others. As long as man thinks that the solution of his ‘identity crisis’ consists in achieving this capacity for self-assertion, we can have no peace…”

2. The crisis of identity

“The crisis of identity which is everywhere normal in adolescence has become a grave problem in America extending far beyond adolescence and through young adulthood. Possibly there are many who never really resolve this problem in our society. One of the characteristics of ‘mass society’ is precisely that it tends to keep man from fully achieving his identity, from operating fully as an autonomous person, from growing up and becoming spiritually and emotionally adult.”

3. Reexamine all our practices

“A merely external practice of silence and enclosure will never do anything by itself to guarantee the inner transformation of consciousness which the contemplative life requires. We have to reexamine all our practices with a seriousness willingness to admit that our present conceptions may simply be inadequate. They need to be made much deeper and much more alive – and perhaps given an entirely new perspective. In this way we will show ourselves truly alert to the new needs of a new generation, aware that in this alertness we are being open to grace…”

4. The contemplative experience

“…the contemplative experience is in touch with what is most basic in human existence.”

5. The ground of one’s being

“The notion of ‘rebirth’ is not peculiar to Christianity. In Sufism, Zen Buddhism and in many other religious or spiritual traditions, emphasis is placed on the call to fulfill certain obscure yet urgent potentialities in the ground of one’s being, to ‘become someone’ that one already (potentially) is, the person one is truly meant to be. Zen calls this awakening a recognition of ‘your original face before you were born.’”

6. Discover unique present meaning

“Imagination has the creative task of making symbols, joining things together in such a way that they throw new light on each other and on everything around them. The imagination is a discovering faculty, a faculty for seeing relationships, for seeing meanings that are special and even quite new. The imagination is something which enables us to discover unique present meaning in a given moment of our life. Without imagination the contemplative life can be extremely dull and fruitless.”

7. Not been trained to pay attention

“But we are not paying attention because we’ve not been trained to pay attention…”

8. Safer, vaguer, broader

“Indeed, very often you find that the word ‘contemplative’ is a safer, vaguer, broader and more discreet word for ‘mystic.’ Mystic seems to be a more scary word than contemplative. People hesitate to use it…”

Have you discovered your identity in the depths of your being?

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

Questions Are Not Asked – 5 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Contemplation in a World of Action

51Xo2PA2R+L._SL500_AA300_1. A “desert” of questioning and paradox

“Are our efforts to be more ‘communal’ and to be more of a ‘family’ really genuine or are they only new ways to be intolerant of the solitude and integrity of the individual person? Are we simply trying to submerge and absorb him and keep him from finding an identity that might express itself in dissent and in a desire for greater solitude? Are we simply trying to guard against his entering a ‘desert’ of questioning and paradox that will disturb our own complacencies?

2. Unidentified cogs in a huge impersonal machine

“Let us not forget that modern man, or modern woman, at least in the ‘advanced countries,’ is desperately concerned with the problem of giving meaning to a life that is so easily reduced to mere empty routine by the alienating pressures of commercial and technological organization. We are often very keenly aware of the danger of becoming mere ‘mass men,’ frustrated, unidentified cogs in a huge impersonal machine.”  

3. A complex of responsibilities and options

“That I should have been born in 1915, that I should be the contemporary of Auschwitz, Hiroshima, Viet Nam and the Watts riots are things about which I was not first consulted. Yet they are also events in which, whether I like it or not, I am deeply and personally involved. The ‘world’ is not just a physical space traversed by jet planes and full of people running in all directions. It is a complex of responsibilities and options made out of the loves, the hates, the fears, the joys, the hopes, the greed, the cruelty, the kindness, the faith, the trust, the suspicion of all. In the last analysis, if there is war because nobody trusts anybody, this is in part because I myself am defensive, suspicious, untrusting, and intent on making other people conform themselves to my particular brand of death wish.”

4. Maturation and self-discovery

“Sometimes it may be very useful for us to discover new and unfamiliar ways in which the human task of maturation and self-discovery is defined…”

5. Take refuge in an area where questions are not asked

“To choose a value that is questioned and doubted is to place oneself in the position of being doubted. The mature person is able to assume this risk. He can embrace an unpopular idea, commit himself to it and to its consequences, and accept the fact that it means becoming a problem and even in some way a ‘scandal’ to others. It is in this way that most people today have to establish and affirm their identity. But it takes courage to do this. Hence all values are questioned, or can be; to embrace any of them is to become an object of questioning and doubt. Those who shrink from personal responsibility shrink from this also. They seek to rest on an infallible authority or else take refuge in an area where questions are not asked.”

Are we afraid to assume the risk of questioning?

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

Love and Collaboration – 9 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Contemplation in a World of Action

51Xo2PA2R+L._SL500_AA300_1. A certain superficial uniformity

“We live in a world of chaotic and revolutionary change.  The development of rapid communications and of mass media has insured a certain superficial uniformity in the thinking of ‘the common man’ all over the world.  And yet can we say precisely who is this ‘common man’?  He has an enormous variety of ideas and influences acting upon him, and often his mentality is an extraordinary mixture of mental clichés that he has picked up at random without knowing where they come from or what they imply.  Yet his mind often remains shallow, dissatisfied, frustrated – unless by chance it becomes simply complacent and passive, habitually reacting to mental stimuli without real thought and without mature response.”

2. The refusal of solitude

“One of the most characteristic American ways of evading the identity problem is conformism, running with the herd, the refusal of solitude, the flight from loneliness…”

3. A basic self-respect and mature identity

“Togetherness is not ‘community.’  To love our brother we must first respect him in his own authentic reality, and we cannot do this if we have not attained to a basic self-respect and mature identity ourselves.” 

4. We think we have the answer

“…we are so obsessed with the idea that we are supposed to possess ‘answers’ and ‘solutions’ for everything that we evade the difficult problems, which are all too real, by raising other less real problems to which we think we have the answer.”

5. Honesty, humility and courage

“There are some problems in life which are not to be solved except by being lived with all the honesty, humility and courage that grace and nature can provide for us.”

6. Where questions are not asked

“To choose a value that is questioned and doubted is to place oneself in the position of being doubted.  The mature person is able to assume this risk.  He can embrace an unpopular idea, commit himself to it and to its consequences, and accept the fact that it means becoming a problem and even in some way a ‘scandal’ to others.  It is in this way that most people today have to establish and affirm their identity.  But it takes courage to do this.  Hence all values are questioned, or can be: to embrace any of them is to become an object of questioning and doubt.  Those who shrink from personal responsibility shrink from this also.  They seek to rest on an infallible authority or else take refuge in an area where questions are not asked.”

7. A more authentic and honest way

“The question remains: can we adjust our life and our view of our life in such a way that it will be capable of being lived in a more authentic and honest way…”

8. Love and collaboration

“It is the person who has fully realized his identity and accepted it that is able not only to face God in solitude but also to meet his brother in love and collaboration.”

9. The immature person

“The immature person, when forced to be silent, tends to experience his inauthenticity and has no escape from it…”

Which quote do you like the best?

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

51DJfJVBpBL (1)

 

Disciplined Experience – 10 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Contemplation in a World of Action

51Xo2PA2R+L._SL500_AA300_1. The question of identity

“The question of identity and of meaning in our personal life can never be adequately answered by logic but only by life itself.  Yet we live in a world where words, formulas, official answers and a seemingly logical system may pretend to decide everything for us in advance…”

2. The cultivation of certain inner conditions

“The need for discipline is the same need for watchfulness, for readiness…  It implies the cultivation of certain inner conditions of awareness, of openness, of readiness for the new and the unexpected.  Specifically, it implies an openness to, a readiness for, what is not normally to be found in an existence where our attention is dissipated and exhausted in other things…”

3. True discipline

“True discipline is interior and personal…”

4. The real purpose of openness

“The real purpose of openness is to renew life in the Spirit, life in love.  A greater love and understanding of people is no obstacle to a true growth in contemplation, for contemplation is rooted and grounded in charity.  A more generous sharing of the values of the contemplative life will increase our love instead of diminishing it.  It will also increase our understanding of and appreciation for our own vocation.  Obviously, a great deal of prudence will be required, but we should not be so afraid of mistakes that we fail to make necessary changes.  If we face change in a courageous spirit of faith, the Holy Spirit will take care of the rest.”

5. I am the world just as you are

“In fact, I am the world just as you are!  Where am I going to look for the world first of all if not in myself?”

6. Can we really decide effectively for a better world?

“Nowadays when we talk so much of freedom, commitment, ‘engagement,’ and so on, it becomes imperative to ask whether the choices we are making have any meaning whatever.  Do they change anything?  Do they get us anywhere?  Do we really choose to alter the direction of our lives or do we simply comfort ourselves with the choice of making another choice?  Can we really decide effectively for a better world?”

7. A certain depth of disciplined experience

“A certain depth of disciplined experience is a necessary ground for fruitful action.  Without a more profound human understanding derived from exploration of the inner ground of human existence, love will tend to be superficial and deceptive…”

8. Rigidity and limitation

“When rigidity and limitation become ends in themselves they no longer favor growth; they stifle it.”

9. In the midst of change

“If we’re not able to be contemplatives in the midst of change, if we insist on being contemplatives in some completely stable situation which we imagine we are going to construct in the future, then we’re never going to be contemplatives.”

10. The imagination is a discovering faculty

“The imagination is a discovering faculty, a faculty for seeing relationships, for seeing meanings that are special and even quite new.  The imagination is something which enables us to discover unique present meaning in a given moment of our life.  Without imagination the contemplative life can be extremely dull and fruitless.”

Which quote do you like the best?

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

51DJfJVBpBL (1)

Are You Seeking Security? – 9 quotes from Thomas Merton’s book – Contemplation in a World of Action

51Xo2PA2R+L._SL500_AA300_1. Most Americans suffer a prolonged identity crisis

“It is quite true that most Americans suffer a prolonged and severe identity crisis and may never really pull through it at all…”

2. A certain superficial uniformity

“We live in a world of chaotic and revolutionary change.  The development of rapid communications and of mass media has insured a certain superficial uniformity in the thinking of the ‘the common man’ all over the world.  And yet can we say precisely who is this ‘common man’?  He has an enormous variety of ideas and influences acting upon him, and often his mentality is an extraordinary mixture of mental clichés that he has picked up at random without knowing where they come from or what they imply.  Yet his mind often remains shallow, dissatisfied, frustrated – unless by chance it becomes simply complacent and passive, habitually reacting to metal stimuli without real thought and without mature response.”

3. Honesty, humility and courage

“There are some problems in life which are not to be solved except by being lived with all the honesty, humility and courage that grace and nature can provide for us.”

4. To be fully human

“Our first task is to be fully human…”

5. An entirely new perspective

“A merely external practice of silence and enclosure will never do anything by itself to guarantee the inner transformation of consciousness which the contemplative life requires.  We have to reexamine all our practices with a serious willingness to admit that our present conceptions may simply be inadequate. They need to be made much deeper and much more alive – and perhaps given an entirely new perspective.  In this way we will show ourselves truly alert to the new needs of a new generation, aware that in this alertness we are being open to grace, obedient to the love of the Holy Spirit…”

6. Renewal is something deeper

“Renewal is something deeper, more living and more total than reform…”

7. Solitude and silence

“The contemplative life would lose its meaning if it did not preserve a certain amount of solitude and silence.  But we must admit that merely keeping everyone locked up is no guarantee of an authentic contemplative life…”

8. Subject to human control

“Unfortunately, we can see that if too many people developed in this way, if entire communities were all at once to reach final integration, the effects on the community structure itself might be revolutionary.  Hence, in fact, our community life is unconsciously organized to make sure that any such development will be subject to human control.  We will not let the Holy Spirit get out of hand!…”

9. Are you seeking security or are you seeking God?

“We have to find out for ourselves what we’re supposed to be doing.  We cannot sit around waiting for somebody else to tell us.  You who read this are yourselves studying possibilities of renewal.  Let me encourage you as a brother to forget about other people who are supposed to help you do it.  Do it yourself with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Find out what you are really looking for in the spiritual life…  What are you seeking?  Are you seeking security or are you seeking God?  Are you seeking pleasant experiences or are you seeking the truth?”

Which quotes are your favorites?

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