THE CHRISTIAN QUOTATION OF THE DAY
Christ, our Light
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Advent II
Commemoration of Thomas Merton, Monk, Spiritual Writer, 1968

This matter of “salvation” is, when seen intuitively, a very simple thing. But when we analyze it, it turns into a complex tangle of paradoxes. We become ourselves by dying to ourselves. We gain only what we give up, and if we give up everything we gain everything. We cannot find ourselves within ourselves, but only in others; yet at the same time, before we can go out to others we must first find ourselves. We must forget ourselves in order to become truly conscious of who we are. The best way to love ourselves is to love others; yet we cannot love others unless we love ourselves, since it is written, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” But if we love ourselves in the wrong way, we become incapable of loving anybody else. And indeed when we love ourselves wrongly, we hate ourselves; if we hate ourselves we cannot help hating others. Yet there is a sense in which we must hate others and leave them in order to find God... As for this “finding” of God, we cannot even look for Him unless we have already found Him, and we cannot find Him unless He has first found us. We cannot begin to seek Him without a special gift of His grace; yet if we wait for grace to move us before beginning to seek Him, we will probably never begin.
... Thomas Merton (1915-1968), No Man is an Island, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1955; reprint, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002, p. xvi-xvii (see the book; see also Phil. 3:12-14; Matt. 10:37-39; 16:24-25; Mark 8:34-35; Luke 9:23-24; 14:26-27; John 12:25; Acts 20:24; more at Attitudes, Beginning, God, Grace, Hatred, Love, Neighbor, Paradox, Salvation, Simplicity)

 
Compilation Copyright, 1996-2019, by Robert McAnally Adams,
        Curator, Christian Quotation of the Day,
        with Robert Douglas, principal contributor
Logo image Copyright 1996 by Shay Barsabe, of “Simple GIFs”, by kind permission.
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Last updated: 12/06/17

 

 



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