I owe this quote to Gerry Straub’s blog. I keep coming back to Thomas Merton.
Today more than ever we need to recognize that the gift of solitude is not ordered to the acquisition of strange contemplative powers, but first of all to the recovery of one’s deep self, and to the renewal of an authenticity which is twisted out of shape by the pretentious routines of a disordered togetherness…. [We must] be first of all a person who can give himself because he has a self to give. And indeed, we cannot give Christ if we have not found him, and we cannot find him if we cannot find ourselves.” -Thomas Merton
Contemplation in a World of Action
[Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., Image Books, 1974 – pages 280-281]