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Words of Wisdom

Contemplating on God: From Thoughts in Solitude by the Reverend Thomas Merton (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2



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The Reverend Thomas Merton, an important Catholic mystic and spiritual thinker, was born in 1915, to a New Zealand father and an American mother. The many life situations he encountered in his youth led him to explore religion and spirituality and eventually to devote his life to God by becoming a monk, and later a deacon, at the Abbey of Gethsemani, a part of the Order of Trappists, in Kentucky, USA. One of Merton’s most famous statements was: “For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore, the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self.” Today, we will read a selection from Thomas Merton’s book,

“Thoughts in Solitude.” The Reverend offers his deep insights on one’s inner spiritual state when in real communion with God. “Faith alone can give us the Light to see that God’s will is to be found in our everyday life.”

“To keep ourselves spiritually alive, we must constantly renew our faith.” “In meditative prayer, one thinks and speaks not only with his mind and lips, but in a certain sense with his whole being. Prayer is then not just a formula of words, or a series of desires springing up in the heart — it is the orientation of our whole body, mind and spirit to God in silence, attention, and adoration. All good meditative prayer is a conversion of our entire self to God. One cannot then enter into meditation, in this sense, without a kind of inner upheaval. By upheaval I do not mean a disturbance, but a breaking out of routine, a liberation of the heart from the cares and preoccupations of one’s daily business.”

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