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"The things we really need come to us only as gifts, and in order to receive them as gifts, we have to be open. In order to be open we have to renounce ourselves, in a sense we have to die to our image of ourselves, our autonomy, our fixation upon o
ur self-willed destiny. We have to be able to relax the psychic and spiritual cramp which knots us in the painful, vulnerable, helpless “I” that is all we know of ourselves."

―Thomas Merton, “Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander,” (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1966), p. 204. Also mentioned in Roger Lipsey's extraordinary homage to Merton's art: Angelic Mistakes: The Art of Thomas Merton (Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc., 2006)