There is no “what” that can be called God. There is no such thing as God because God is neither a “what” nor a “thing” but a pure “Who.” — Thomas Merton
For the last year or so, I have been reading New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton*. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend reading a little bit every now and then. Today is Thomas Merton’s birthday. He’s been extremely influential in my spiritual journey and I would like to share some of my favorite quotes from his book that have had a significant impact on my life:
There is no “what” that can be called God. There is no such thing as God because God is neither a “what” nor a “thing” but a pure “Who.”
So much depends on our idea of God! Yet no idea of Him, however pure and perfect, is adequate to express Him as He really is. Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.
To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that Love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.
The function of faith is not to reduce mystery to rational clarity, but to integrate the unknown and the known together in a living whole, in which we are more and more able to transcend the limitations of our external self.
Keep your eyes clean and your ears quiet and your mind serene. Breathe God’s air. Work, if you can, under His sky.
The only One Who can teach me to find God is God, Himself, Alone.
Let these bits of eternal Wisdom take root in your mind, let them be seeds of contemplation.
*Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O. was an American Catholic writer, theologian and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion.