Love is not like that

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No man, whether good or bad, can lay claim in strict justice to the love of God, because love is not like that at all. It has to be given as a free gift, or not at all. The sinner who is ready to accept love as a gift from God is far closer to God than the “just” man who insists on being loved for his own merits. For the former will soon stop sinning (since he will be loved by God), and the latter has probably already begun to sin.

–Thomas Merton,
The New Man

Published in: on 02/20/2016 at 4:52  Leave a Comment  
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Advance laughing

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Dare to
advance  
in the love
which has
redeemed [you]…
and to laugh at
the preposterous
idea of
“worthiness.”

–Thomas Merton

The hiddenness of God

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God, who is everywhere, never leaves us.
Yet He seems sometimes to be present,
sometimes absent. If we do not know Him well,
we do not realize that He may be
more present to us when He is absent
then when He is present.

–Thomas Merton

The yoke is on you

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And to try to be happy by being admired by men, or loved by women, or warm with liquor, full of lust, or getting possessions and treasures, that turns you away, soon, from the love of God; then men, women, and drink and lust and greed take precedence over God; and they darken His light. . . . And then we are unhappy and afraid and angry and fierce, and impatient, and cannot pray, and cannot sit still. That is the bitter yoke of sin; and for this we leave the mild and easy yoke of Christ.

–Thomas Merton
(1915 – 1968)

Taking nothing for granted

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To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us–and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful man knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.

–Thomas Merton
Thoughts in Solitude

Image: Stephen Darbishire

 

Retreating from Love

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All sin is rooted in the failure of love.
All sin is a withdrawal of love from God,
in order to love something else.
Sin sets boundaries to our hope,
and locks our love in prison.

–Thomas Merton
No Man Is An Island

More than light

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Faith gives us more than light,
more than life: for the “light”
it gives us is God Himself.

–Thomas Merton

Published in: on 01/31/2013 at 4:42  Leave a Comment  
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Failures included

Grace is difficult to believe and difficult to accept. We want desperately to believe that God loves unconditionally, yet we keep adding conditions. “Okay, fine,” we say reluctantly, “but once we accept God’s grace, we’d better get our act together. We had better be successful or we won’t be worthy of his grace.” We just cannot believe God can grace even our failures.

–Thomas Merton
(1915 – 1968)

Published in: on 11/20/2012 at 9:23  Comments (2)  
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Withdrawing from love

All sin is rooted in the failure of love. All sin is a withdrawal of love from God, in order to love something else.

–Thomas Merton

Published in: on 02/14/2012 at 7:45  Leave a Comment  
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Awakening to new wonders

To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us—and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.

–Thomas Merton (1915 – 1968)

To be loved by God

All desires but one can fail.
The only desire that is infallibly fulfilled
is the desire to be loved by God.

–Thomas Merton (1915 – 1968)

Published in: on 06/04/2011 at 21:46  Leave a Comment  
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