The Paradox of Solitude (Thomas Merton)

It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am, the more affection I have for them. It is pure affection and filled with reverence for the solitude of others. Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say…

For us solitude means withdrawal from an artificial and fictional being of level of being which men have fabricated in order to keep peace with death…

Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas

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