Merton: ‘Contemplation Would Be Incomplete if Not Shared’

Snowy Road by Thomas Merton
Snowy Road by Thomas Merton

The Great Silence of thirty inches of snow in a city that never knows the quiet is a great gift. The cutting cold exposes our city’s social sins, shows us who we’ve allowed to die of exposure under bridges, in cars, in abandoned houses.

The ultimate perfection of the contemplative life is not a heaven of separate individuals, each one viewing his own private intuition of God; it is a sea of Love which flows through the One Body of all the elect, all the angels and saints, and their contemplation would be incomplete if it were not shared, or if it were shared with fewer souls, or with spirits capable of less vision and less joy.–Thomas Merton

From New Seeds of Contemplation. (New York: New Directions Books 1961, p 65)

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