Your heart can also bloom

IN THE SPRINGTIME, thousands of different kinds of flowers bloom. Your heart can also bloom. You can let your heart open up to the world. Love is possible—do not be afraid of it. Love is indispensable to life, and if in the past you have suffered because of love, you can learn how to love again.
– thich nhat hanh

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Photo: Portland, Maine – August 2012

to be genuinely free and alone

The conviction that I have not even begun to write, to think, to pray, and to live, and that only now am I getting down to waking up. And that, by God’s grace, this comes from finally trying, with great difficulty, to be genuinely free and alone, as humbly as I can, in God’s sight, without passively accepting all the standards and the formulas which have been adopted by others – or, at least, that I am now exercising a wider choice in my sources of inspiration. – Thomas Merton, journal entry, June 22, 1958

The vanity of our best efforts

From Tertullian: Malim nullum bonum quam vanum. “I would rather have nothing than have vanity.”
When we face the vanity of our best efforts, their triviality, their involvement in illusion, we become desperate. And then we are tempted to do anything as long as it seems to be good. We may abandon a better good with which we have become disillusioned and embrace a lesser good with a frenzy that prevents us from seeing the greater illusion.
So, through effort that may seem to be wasted, we must patiently go towards a good that is to be given to the patient and the disillusioned.
– Thomas Merton, Journal entry, May 29/30. 1962
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