Thursday, January 25, 2007

do not depend on the hope of results

Someone has asked for this Merton quote. It comes from a letter written to Jim Forrest in February 1966, and can be found in the book, "Hidden Ground of Love":

"Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing ... an apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to that you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. And there too a great deal has to be gone through, as gradually you struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. The range tends to narrow down, but it gets much more real. In the end ... it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything


  1. I found this quote by way of a posting and link on the blog, East of Eden. What a pleasure to have found your contemplative corner of the universe. I'll be back again soon.

  2. thanks for your visit, Deborah.

    I'm pretty steeped in Merton-thought, but hope to explore others as well in my journey into contemplativeness. It was at the heart of Merton's life, so I've been using him as a guide for a long time. He's pretty reliable.

  3. P.S. I just looked at your website, Deborah, and your art is stunning. I love it.


Christ in the Rubble

The Rev. Munther Isaac lighting a candle next to an improvised crèche this month in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. Credit... Samar Hazboun...