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“The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the works of his hands.” Psalm 19: 2
The ultimate perfection of the contemplative life is not a heaven of separate individuals, each on viewing his own private intuition of God; it is a sea of Love which flows through the One Body of all the elect, all the angels and saints.
Thomas Merton. New Seeds of Contemplation. (New York: New Directions Books): 65
“I love you, LORD, my strength.” Psalm 18: 2
But in moments of silence, of meditation, of enlightenment and peace, one learns to live in the atmosphere of solitude even in the midst of crowds. Not “divided,” but one with all God’s Love.
Thomas Merton. Love and Living. (New York: Harcourt): 21.
“Seek out the LORD and his might; constantly seek his face. Recall the wondrous deeds he has done, his wonders and words of judgment. ” Psalm 105: 4-5
It (Contemplation) is that life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive. It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being. It is gratitude for life, for awareness and for being.
Thomas Merton. New Seeds of Contemplation. (New York: New Directions Books):1.
“The nations shall fear your name, LORD, all the kings of the earth, your glory.” Psalm 102: 16
You pray best when the mirror of your soul is empty of every image except the Image of the Invisible Father. This image is the Wisdom of the Father, the Word of the Father, Verbum spirans amorem, the glory of the Father.
Thomas Merton. Thoughts in Solitude. (New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux): 113.
“LORD, hear my prayer; let my cry come to you. Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.” Psalm 102: 2-3
There is no such thing as a kind of prayer in which you do absolutely nothing. …Contemplative prayer is a deep and simplified spiritual activity in which the mind and will are fused into one.
Thomas Merton. Seeds of Contemplation. (Norfolk, CT: New Directions Books, 1949): 160.
“I delight to do your will, my God; your law is in my inner being!” Psalm 40: 9
A door opens in the center of our being and we seem to fall through it into immense depths which, although they are infinite, are all accessible to us; all eternity seems to have become ours in this one placid and breathless contact.
Thomas Merton. Seeds of Contemplation. (Norfolk, CT: New Directions Books, 1949): 146.
“A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit.” Psalm 51: 12
Occupy my whole life with the one thought and the one desire of love, that I may love not for the sake of merit, not for the sake of perfection, not for the sake of virtue, not for the sake of sanctity but for love alone.
Thomas Merton. Seeds of Contemplation. (Norfolk, CT: New Directions Books, 1949): 36
“LORD my God, in you I trusted; save me; rescue me from all who pursue me.” Psalm 7:2
If we trust God to act in us, God will act in us. This is how our lives become prophetic. …If we are completely open to the Holy Spirit, then the Spirit will be able to lead us where God wants us to go. Going along that line, our lives will be prophetic.
Thomas Merton. The Springs of Contemplation: A Retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani (Notre Dame, Indiana: Ave Maria Press, 1992): 64-65
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed.” Psalm 34: 19
The true creative spirit must be fired with love and with an authentic desire of God.
Thomas Merton. Contemplation in a World of Action (Notre Dame, Indiana: Notre Dame Press, 1998): 24