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July 30, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Thomas Merton Quotes from Love and Living

“When people are truly in love, they experience far more than just a mutual need for each other’s company and consolation. In their relation with each other they become different people: they are more than their everyday selves, more alive, more understanding, more enduring, and seemingly more endowed. They are made over into new beings. They are transformed by the power of their love.”
Thomas Merton, Love and Living, p. 35

“Love, then, is a transformative power of almost mystical intensity which endows the lovers with qualities and capacities they never dreamed they could possess. Where do these qualities come from? From the enhancement of life itself, deepened, intensified, elevated, strengthened, and spiritualized by love. Love is not only a special way of being alive, it is the perfection of life. He who loves is more alive and more real then he was when he did not love.”
Thomas Merton, Love and Living, p. 36

“That is why advertising imagery which associated sexual fulfillment with all the most trivial forms of satisfaction–in order to separate the buyer from his dollar–creates a mental and moral climate that is unfavorable to genuine love. Unconciously, the power that should go into creative and positive love for other person is being short-circuited by images of infantile oral fulfillment and other narcissistic symbols.”
Thomas Merton, Love and Living, p. 36

“What are we going to do about it? Well, for one thing, we can be aware of these immature and inadequate idea. We do not have to let ourselves be dominated by them. We are free to think in better terms. Of course, we cannot do this all by ourselves. We need the help of articulate voices, themselves taught and inspired by love. This is the mission of the poet, the artist, and the prophet. Unfortunately, the confusion of our world has made the message of our poets obscure and our prophets seem altogether silent–unless they are devoting their talents to the praise of toothpaste.”
Thomas Merton, Love and Living, p. 37

“The symbols of the Mass Society are crude and barbaric rallying points for emotion, fanaticism, and exalted forms of hatred masking as moral indignation. The Symbols of Mass Society are cipers on the face of a moral and spiritual void.”
Thomas Merton, Love and Living, p. 58

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