Vegetarian Ideal

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
- Albert Einstein

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Meditations on contemplative living

A contemporary monk advised his brothers thus: “If you do not live by principles, do not pretend to adhere to them.” And again: “Today, when there is so little external monasticism, most monks must live within themselves. This means that there is no brother to admonish you or to be your example. You must admonish yourself and set an example for yourself. All of the goals, all of the rewards, and all of the standards have become internal. And while this may seem tragic, it is probably merciful. - The Ancient Fathers of the Desert

The shallow “I” of individualism can be possessed, developed, cultivated, pandered to, satisfied: it is the center of all our strivings for gain and satisfaction, whether material or spiritual. But the deep “I” of the spirit, of solitude and of love, cannot be had, possessed, developed, perfected. It can only be, and act, according to the inner laws that are not of man’s contriving, but which come from God … This inner “I”, who is always alone, is always universal: for in this innermost “I” my own solitude meets the solitude of every other man and the solitude of God. - Thomas Merton, Disputed Questions 207 (via Crashingly Beautiful).

A young monk asked Abba Moses to give him a piece of useful advice. “Stay in your cell and your cell will teach you,” the wise elder answered. - The Ancient Fathers of the Desert

At the moment that a holy elder was in the throes of death, the devil appeared before him and shouted at him: “You destroyed me, you wretch.” “I am still not sure of that, ” the Saint replied, and reposed.
 - The Ancient Fathers of the Desert

Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality, as with the ordinary church member. Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness, as with the ordinary soldier. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice, as with the ordinary intellectual. But the one who has love, courage and wisdom moves the world. - Ammon Hennacy 

Man’s conscience is like a spring,” the Fathers say, “which, the deeper you hollow it out, the more greatly you cleanse it. If, however, you cover it with soil, in little time it will be lost. - The Ancient Fathers of the Desert

Words stand between silence and silence: between the silence of things and the silence of our own being, between the silence of the world and the silence of God. When we have really met and known the world in silence, words do not separate us from the world nor from other men, nor from God, nor from ourselves because we no longer trust entirely in language to contain reality.  
- Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude 

A novice monk sought out the advice of a certain elder of discretion: “If the behavior of one of my brothers scandalizes me, should I ask his forgiveness?” “Ask his forgiveness,” the elder answered, “but cease associating with him. Have you not heard what Arsenios the Great advises? ‘Have love for all, but be detached from everyone.’ - The Ancient Fathers of the Desert

Love alone is enough, regardless of whether it produces anything. It is better for love not to be especially oriented to results, to a work to be done, a class to be taught, people to be taken care of in the hospital, or anything like that. In the active life, love is channeled into something that gets results. In the so-called contemplative life, love is sufficient unto itself.  
- Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action (257)

“Love is … Caring About something More Than 
Yourself” - Merlin Mann.  
“Love is … Caring About something More Than Yourself” - Merlin Mann.


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