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In Honor of Books Finished Yesterday

She was barnacled with pieces of popular wisdom.

~ Graham Greene, Brighton Rock, pt. 7, ch. 8


Paradoxically, then, though Christ himself accomplishes the work of our sanctification, the more he does so the more it tends to cost us. The further we advance the more he tends to take away our own strength and deprive us of our own human and natural resources, so that in the end we find ourselves in complete poverty and darkness. This is the situation that we find most terrible, and it is against this that we rebel. For the strange, sanctifying mystery of Christ's death in us, we substitute the more familiar and comforting routine of our own activity: we abandon his will and take refuge in the more trivial, but more "satisfying," procedures which interest us and enable us to be interesting in the eyes of others. We think that in this way we can find peace, and make our lives fruitful: but we delude ourselves, and our activity turns out to be spiritually sterile.

~ Thomas Merton, Life and Holiness, conclusion

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