Quote for the Day

It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes: yet, with all that, God Himself gloried in becoming a member of the human race. … As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people they are all walking around shining like the sun. … it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed. . . . I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other.

— Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

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  • http://trainsnherons.wordpress.com Kate
  • http://inadequatedisciple.blogspot.com Colleen @ ID

    Great quote, Carl thanks for sharing. Was that from his mystical experience in the subway? Didn’t CS Lewis say something similar?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/carlmccolman/ Carl McColman

      Actually, it was on a streetcorner. And Lewis may well have had a similar experience, but I can’t put my finger on it right now.

  • Danielle baudouin Castronis

    ” shining like the sun” and absolutely beautiful! radiant! it’s a shift, a complete flip, from ego( by ego I mean the personal self) to the true Self. The shift happens in an instant; it does not take any time because the true Self is always here; but it only becomes manifest when we completely surrender the mind.
    I can never be reminded enough.
    To be able to make that shift is why I practice meditation.
    Thank you for the encouragement.

  • Ted

    The C.S. Lewis “version” of this idea can be found in “The Weight of Glory” where he writes “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship …”. Lewis’ focus here is the responsibility we each bare to assist each other to this reality, whereas Merton seems to identify the implications if only we could see with “rinsed eyes” the divine reality in which we live, move, and exist.

  • http://inadequatedisciple.blogspot.com/ Colleen @ ID

    Thanks, Ted. I haven’t read that one. It is still on my Amazon wish list. Now I have another reason to read it. I agree with Lewis and my priest that there is responsibility. We are called to nurture those that are members or potential members of the Body of Christ on the journey to our greatest good — eternal communion with God.


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