Loving well


If we are going to love others at all, we must make up our minds to love them well. Otherwise our love is a delusion.

We must first of all purify our love by renouncing the pleasure of loving as an end in itself. As long as pleasure is our end, we will be dishonest with ourselves and with those we love. We will not seek their good, but our own pleasure.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

I have a theme going here with this post and the last two (First love the truth, Love finds truth): what does ‘loving’ mean? Thomas Merton’s chapter on Charity in No Man Is and Island always challenges me to see loving in a new and deeper way.

He puts his finger on what is false in my heart.

I don’t want to admit that my supposed love for others is so often about me, about what I want to get out of loving them.

Busted – that’s me – I’m so guilty.

Father in heaven, have mercy on me and change my heart!



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