To love another is to will what is really good for him. Such love must be based on truth. A love that sees no distinction between good and evil, but loves blindly merely for the sake of loving, is hatred, rather than love. To love blindly is to love selfishly, because the goal of such love is not the real advantage of the beloved but only the exercise of love in our own souls.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

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When ends justify your means
what will be the meaning and justice of your end?

When power is about keeping power
what, when you lose it, will keep and empower you?

When you forsake truth to prosper,
what will be your truth when prosperity forsakes you?

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And if he is the truth and the life, we will find it out soon enough for ourselves, you can be sure of that. If we want to find it out, if we are willing to draw near in whatever idiotic way we can, all our reservations and doubts notwithstanding, because little by little we find out then that to be where he is, to go where he goes, to see through eyes and work with hands like his is to feel like ourselves at last, is to become fully ourselves at last and fully each other’s at last, and to become finally more even than that: to become fully his at last.

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “The Sign by the Highway”

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What is the truth? It is not the answer to any question that we know how to ask. Can there be a truth that saves, can there be salvation, for those who have learned of life not to believe in salvation? Only on the other side of pain…the pained embarrassment at the words Jesus Saves, which at its heart is a pained embarrassment at our own nakedness and incompleteness…pain that brought tears to the eyes…of hope betrayed…the pain of the good thief, which is the pain of surrender, the pain of acknowledging finally our utter helplessness to save ourselves.”

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “The Sign by the Highway”

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I must become convinced and penetrated by the realization that without my love for [another] they may perhaps not achieve the things God has willed for them.

My love must be to them the “sacrament” of the mysterious and infinitely selfless love God has for them.

The words I speak to them must be no other than the words of Christ Who deigns to reveal Himself to them in me.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

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