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It is therefore of supreme importance that we consent to live not for ourselves but for others. When we do this we will be able first of all to face and accept our own limitations. . . . We are not all weak in the same spots, and so we supplement and complete one another, each one making up in himself for the lack in another.

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Thomas Merton (1915–1968) was an American Roman Catholic Trappist monk, poet, author, theologian, student of interfaith understanding, and activist for social change. His work dove deep into the ways in which religions are similar, and he envisioned a more peaceful world through helping people understand and appreciate spiritual paths different from their own. He wrote over fifty books and countless essays on social justice, religion, and theology throughout his life, and he strove to weave mysticism into his works while connecting these beliefs to overarching societal ideas and structures.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageA bird was lying on his back in the road with his feet in the air. A horse saw him and asked, “What’re you doing?” The sparrow said, “I’m helping hold back the darkness.” The horse sneered and said, “Yeah, right,” and the sparrow said, “One does what one can.”

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FindCenter Quotes ImageAlthough the connections are not always obvious, personal change is inseparable from social and political change.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageSuspicion often creates what it suspects.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageDo not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageThe first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’

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FindCenter Quotes ImageLife’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

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FindCenter Quotes ImageWe meet no ordinary people in our lives.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageStay a verb—don’t become a noun.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageOne of the deepest purposes of all art is to marry what is with what can be.

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FindCenter Quotes ImageEmpathetic listening is an awesome medication for the hurting heart.

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EXPLORE TOPIC

Christian Mysticism