February 25, 2011

If You Believe In God, Read This~ February 25th.

“The man who fears being alone will never be anything but lonely, no matter how much he may surround himself with people…

How many there are who have solitude and do not love it, because their solitude is without recollection! It is only loneliness. It does nothing to bring them to themselves. They are like souls wandering their way out of hell and finding their way by mistake into Heaven, only to discover that Heaven is more of a hell to them than hell itself…

False recollection occurs when we try by our own efforts to block out all material things, to isolate ourselves from people and nature by main force, hoping that there will be nothing left in our souls but God. When we attempt this, we usually divide our being against itself, call one half (the one we like) God, and call the other ‘our nature’ or our ‘self.’ What madness, what a waste of effort, to try to rest in one half of our being, calling it ‘God,’ and lock the other out of doors! Our being resists this division, and engages in what we think is a war between light and darkness. But this struggle is only the battle of an illusion against an illusion. Such battles are too often waged in monasteries, where God calls men not to embrace illusion but to abandon it, that they may discover what is real…

The man who learns, in solitude and recollection, to be at peace with his own loneliness, and to prefer its reality to the illusion of merely natural companionship, comes to know the invisible companionship of God. Such a one is alone with God in all places, and he alone truly enjoys the companionship of other men, because he loves them in God…” ~ from No Man Is An Island by Thomas Merton

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