If we are without human feelings we cannot love God in the way in which we are meant to love Him—as men. If we do not respond to human affection we cannot be loved by God in the way in which He has willed to love us—with the Heart of the Man, Jesus Christ Who is God, the Son of God, and the anointed Christ.
 Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude (Dell Publishing Co., Inc.: New York, 1961), 26.
Thomas Merton, (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968)
An American Catholic writer and mystic. A Trappist monk, as commonly referred to as, was a poet, social activist, and ecumenist. He was ordained to the priesthood and later given the name Father Louis in 1949. He While he was at the Trappist Monastery of Our Lady Gethsemane, he wrote a book that is “both about meditation and a meditation in itself.”
Christ’s call to discipleship is a call to self-death, an absolute surrender to God. … From the world’s perspective, Christ’s frankness in caling people to follow HIm appears to be extreme. But Jesus is honest and direct: to share in His glory a person must first share in His death… Jesus is the Lord of lords and King of kings. And the Lord of the universe commands every person to follow Him. He never pleaded for someone to follow Him. He was embassaringly straightforward… Jesus expected immidiate obedience. He accepted no excuses… Obeying Christ’s command, “Follow Me,” results in self-death. Christianity without self-death is only an abstract philosophy. It is Christianity without Christ.
Dr. Keith Phillips, The Making of a Disciple (Fleming H. Revell Company: New Jersey, 1981), 16-17.
The flame of our love for God and our fellow men must be fed by fuel provided by the mind. Our love for and worship of God must not be merely intuitive. We must put intelligence into it. Paul says, “I shall pray with the spirit and I shall pray with the mind also” (1 Corinthians 14:15).
J. Oswald Sanders, Enjoying Intimacy with God (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Books, 2000), 90.
In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”
This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, or that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.
G. K. Chesterton, “The Drift from Domesticity.” In: The Thing (London: Sheed & Ward, 1929), p. 35.
Christians, especially ministers, so often think that they must always contribute something when they are in company odd others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a gadget service than speaking.
Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But [the one] who can no longer listen to his brother [or sister] will soon be no longer listening to God either…. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there is nothing left but spiritual chatter and clerical condescension arrayed in pious words.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (New York : Harper and Broadway., 1954), pp. 97-98.