Seasons of Celebration...

We cannot use created things for the glory of God unless we are in control of ourselves. We cannot be in control of ourselves if we are under the power of the desires and appetites and passions of the flesh. We cannot give ourselves to God if we do not belong to ourselves. And we do not belong to ourselves if we belong to our own ego.The real purpose of Christian asceticism is then not to liberate the soul from the desires and needs of the body, but to bring the whole person into complete submission to God’s will as expressed in the concrete demands of life in all its existential reality. A spirituality that merely entrenched us in the privacy of our own wills and our egos beyond the reach of the claims of flesh, of history and of time, would not only be futile, but it might also confirm us in the evil of that spurious autonomy which is deaf to the call of salvation and obedience uttered in the Gospel Kerygma [the proclamation,announcement and preaching of the Kingdom by Christ in the Gospels].
Thomas Merton, Seasons of Celebration,(New York:Straus & Giroux, 1950), 138. Permission: The Merton Institute for Contemplative Living | 2117 Payne Street | Louisville | KY | 40206.

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