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Thomas Merton’s words on May Day

May 1, 2009


On sincerity:

15.  The whole question of sincerity, then, is basically a question of love and fear. The man who is selfish, narrow, who loves little and fears much that he will not be loved, can never be deeply sincere, even though he may sometimes have a character that seems to be frank on the surface.  In  his depths he will always be involved in duplicity. He will deceive himself in his best and most serious intentions. Nothing he says or feels about love, whether human or divine, can safely be believed, until his love be purged at least of its basest and most unreasonable fears.

But the man who is not afraid to admit everything that he sees to be wrong with himself, and yet recognizes that he may be the object of God’s love precisely because of his shortcomings, can begin to be sincere. His sincerity is based on confidence, not his illusions about himself, but in the endless, unfailing mercy of God.  No Man is an Island, Thomas Merton, p. 204

God, Merton makes me feel like the utterly inadequate human being I truly am.

And yet…God loves me.



source for the image above

5 Comments leave one →
  1. seashellseller permalink
    May 1, 2009 3:24 pm

    This is a great map of the Culture source in EfM

  2. seashellseller permalink
    May 1, 2009 4:13 pm

    Where did you find the diagram?

  3. May 2, 2009 4:36 pm

    Merton’s words seem to apply to folks my best friend and I know who are duplicitous. Because of fear they do not feel they can risk sincerity. Being straightforward would make them too vulnerable. Very sad.

  4. May 2, 2009 5:17 pm

    I hadn’t really thought about the causes of sincerity / insincerity much before, but Merton’s quotation rings true.


  1. Sincerity « The Written Word

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