'In the Bible we discover a real and complex God. If you have a personal relationship with any real person, you will regularly be confused and infuriated by him or her. So, too, you will be regularly confounded by the God you meet in the Scriptures - as well as amazed and comforted.'
'In prayer we discover what we already have. You start from where you are and you deepen what you already have, and you realize you are already there. We already have everything but we don't know it and don't experience it. Everything has been given to us in Christ. All we need is to experience what we already possess.'
Thomas Merton in Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land, p.53.
'...the struggle of the human condition: we cannot be still. Even if the body can be still, the mind keeps racing like a runaway train. Our bodies may be at the place of prayer, but our minds are not usually where our bodies are, but instead are at a shopping mall; on a beach in Majorca; reliving an argument; fearing the future; regretting the past; any place but right here in the simplicity of the present moment.'
'...the thinking mind has a professional hazard. If it is not engaged in its primary task of reason, given half a chance it fizzes and boils with obsessive thoughts and feelings. There are, however, deeper demands, deeper encounters of life, love, and God, and there is far more to being alive than riding breathlessly around in the emotional roller coaster of obsessive thinking.'
'Baptism and Eucharist are the great sacraments of God's self-giving. They create, cultivate, and sustain the foundational unity between God and humanity that is manifested in Christ. These are the sacraments of our deepest identity, hidden in the self-emptying of God in Christ.'