no man is an island…

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

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2 thoughts on “no man is an island…

  1. Hey, Seth —
    I like this — and it meets me right where I am right now. Good stuff.
    Hey — what you doin’ these days anyway?
    Guess what? I am getting a new art room in our new HS wing at Norfolk Christian, and I am getting two brand new kilns and four brand new wheels! Want to come visit us?
    And, hey — thanks again for linking my photos — glad you like them. I just posted one today that made me think of you ’cause I used one of my old church photos from Scotland to make it. Turned out pretty cool.
    Let me know what you think!
    love,
    a. rosanne

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