Month: August 2016

Existential Oneness


“We love first from the sense that we are connected with one another and with life itself. This is the singular, existential oneness we share as those made in the image of God.”

~ Steve Harper, Living in Love: The Essence of the Christian Life

Painting by Félix Vallotton – Forest of Boulogne (1919)


Epiphany of God


“It is the love of my lover, my brother, or my child that sees God in me, makes God credible to myself in me. And it is my love for my lover, my child, my brother that enables me to show God to him or her in himself or herself.”

~ Thomas Merton in James Finley’s Merton’s Palace of Nowhere

Painting by Paul Cézanne (1839)

Choosing Both


“Do we really renounce ourselves and the world in order to find Christ, or do we renounce our alienated and false selves in order to choose our own deepest truth in choosing both the world and Christ at the same time? If the deepest ground of my being is love, then in that very love itself and nowhere else will I find myself, and the world, and my brother and Christ.”

~ Thomas Merton in James Finley’s Merton’s Palace of Nowhere

Artwork by Henri Lebasque (1924)

Myths Of The Ego

“Fame and success are the myth of the ego taken root like an acorn in the soil of the world. The myth assumes gigantic proportions. On this point Merton tells us of an occasion in his own life:

“A few years ago a man who was compiling a book on Success wrote and asked me to contribute a statement on how I got to be a success. I replied indignantly that I was not able to consider myself a success in any terms that had a meaning to me. I swore I had spent my life strenuously avoiding success. If it happened that I had once written a best-seller this was a pure accident, due to inattention and naiveté, and I would take very good care never to do the same thing again. If I had a message sage to my contemporaries, I said, it was surely this: be anything you like, be madmen, drunks, and bastards of every shape and form, but at all costs avoid one thing: success. I heard no more from him, and I am not aware that my reply was published with the other testimonials.””

~ Thomas Merton quoted in James Finley’s Merton’s Palace of Nowhere

Live As If You Did Not Exist


“As long as we look for some kind of pay for what we do, as long as we want to get something from God in some kind of exchange, we are like the merchants. If you want to be rid of the commercial spirit, then by all means do all you can in the way of good works, but do so solely for the praise of God. Live as if you did not exist. Expect and ask nothing in return. Then the merchant inside you will be driven out of the temple God has made. Then God alone dwells there. See! This is how the temple is cleared: when a person thinks only of God and honors him alone. Only such a person is free and genuine.”

~ Meister Eckhart

art by Alfred Sisley