Monday Merton 4.22.2013

I overslept this morning and I need to get out to my lake to walk and pray so today I’m just going to share some quotes from Thomas Merton without my own commentary. I am drawing again from his book No Man is An Island. By the way, apologies for the non-gender inclusive language. I guess because Merton was surrounded by men all the time in a monastery, he can’t imagine ever writing the word “she” in a book. It’s annoying.

“Infinite sharing is the law of God’s inner life. He has made the sharing of ourselves the law of our own being, so that it is in loving others that we best love ourselves.” 3

“Love not only prefers the good of another to my own, but it does not even compare the two… Love shares the good with another not by dividing it with him, but by identifying itself with him so that his good becomes my own.” 4

“To love another is to will what is really good for him. Such love must be based on truth. A love that sees no distinction between good and evil, but loves blindly merely for the sake of loving, is not hatred, rater than love. To love blindly is to love selfishly, because the goal of such love is not the real advantage of the beloved but only the exercise of love in our own souls.” 5

“To love others well we must first love the truth… The truth we must love when we love our brothers is not mere abstract speculation: it is the moral truth that is to be embodied and given life in our own destiny and theirs… [It] is the concrete destiny and sanctity that are willed for them in the love of God. One who really loves another is not merely moved by the desire to see him contented and healthy and prosperous in this world. Love cannot be satisfied with anything so incomplete. If I am to love my brother, I must somehow enter deep into the mystery of God’s love for him… The truth I must love in my brother is God Himself, living in him. I must seek the life of the Spirit of God breathing in him.” 6-7

“The true interests of a person are at once perfectly his own and common to the whole Kingdom of God. That is because these interests are all centered in God’s design for his soul… And the more perfectly we are ourselves the more we are able to contribute to the good of the whole Church of God.” 8

“Faithful submission to God’s secret working in the world will fill our love with piety, that is to say with supernatural awe and respect. This respect, this piety, gives our love the character of worship, without which our charity can never be quite complete.” 9

“Selfish love often appears to be unselfish, because it is willing to make any concession to the beloved in order to keep him prisoner.”10

“There is one universal basis for friendship with all men [and women!]: we are all loved by God, and I should desire them all to love Him with all their power.” 11

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