Sunday, March 4, 2012

Taking proper care of one's own soul

Artist: Charles Sprague Pearce

Here is a very wonderful passage from the works of Thomas Merton:
"The deep secrecy of my own being is often hidden from me by my own estimate of what I am. My idea of what I am is falsified by my admiration for what I do. And my illusions about myself are bred by contagion from the illusions of other men. We all seek to imitate one another’s imagined greatness.

"If I do not know who I am, it is because I think I am the sort of person everyone around me wants to be. Perhaps I have never asked myself whether I really wanted to become what everybody else seems to want to become. Perhaps if I only realized that I do not admire what everyone seems to admire, I would really begin to live after all. I would be liberated from the painful duty of saying what I really do not think and of acting in a way that betrays God’s truth and the integrity of my own soul."
This is truly a very important observation because so many church people make a huge effort to be what the Church wants them to be. And that is a soul-destroying enterprise, I would assert.


  1. The person who gets too involved in church committees loses himself, and often her or his faith. I see that after a time with those who have done a term on vestry in church as well.

  2. Yes, I've seen that as well, Ciss.

  3. I think that may be due to the fact that church committees are too often about maintaining the institution rather than ministering to a world in need. I often feel disappointed in the lack of courage on the part of the Church, almost anywhere, to act prophetically on behalf of the oppressed, - so many oppressed.

  4. I know that sense of disappointment well, Tom.


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