Thursday, April 20, 2006

thomas merton quote of the week

convicting for those of us who are often at unrest within our selves...


“All men seek peace first of all with themselves. That is necessary, because we do not naturally find rest even in our own being. We have to learn to commune with ourselves before we can communicate with other men and with God. A man who is not at peace with himself necessarily projects his interior fighting into the society of those he lives with, and spreads a contagion of conflict all around him. Even when he tries to do good to others his efforts are hopeless, since he does not know how to do good to himself. In moments of wildest idealism he may take it into his head to make other people happy: and in doing so he will overwhelm them with his own unhappiness. He seeks to find himself somehow in the work of making others happy. Therefore he throws himself into the work. As a result he gets out of the work all that he put into it: his own confusion, his own disintegration, his own unhappiness. “

From No Man is an Island by Thomas Merton

2 comments:

sherry said...

Thanks Jodie. Pointed and insightful words from Merton. Spot on and painful at the moment.

billy said...

Geez Jody.......this quote really summarizes the struggle that so many of us face as we try to do the right thing in life. I've seldom felt more understood, and at the same time more convicted, than I did reading your post. I take hope and comfort in the fact that there are people in my life like you saying things like this that I need to hear. Hope your to N.C. went great......

"Whenever we do harm to another person it always involves some desire to transfer to or place upon them some sense of inner degradation that we feel about ourselves"

a paraphrase from Oscar Wilde