Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"We tend to identify ourselves with those we love. We try to enter into their own souls and become what they are, thinking as they think, feeling as they feel, and experiencing what they experience. But there is no true intimacy between souls who do not know how to respect one another's solitude. I cannot be united in love with a person whose very personality my love tends to obscure, to absorb, and to destroy. Nor can I awaken true love in a person who is invited, by my love, to be drowned in the act of drowning me with love. 
If we know God, our identification of ourselves with those we love will be patterned on our union with God, and subordinate to it. Thus our love will begin with the knowledge of its own limitations and rise to the awareness of its greatness. For in ourselves we will always remain separate and remote from one another, but in God we can be one with those we love.
We cannot find them in God without first perfectly finding ourselves in Him. Therefore we will take care not to lose ourselves in looking for them outside Him. For love is not found in the void that exists between our being and the being of the one we love. There is an illusion of unity between us when our thoughts, our words, or our emotions draw us out of ourselves and suspend us together for a moment over the void. But when this moment has ended, we must return into ourselves or fall into the void. There is no true love except in God, Who is the source both of our own being and of the being we love."  Thomas Merton

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