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One of the things Merton criticizes in this book is the practice of constantly picking up and putting down books, of reading several at a time. I am guilty of this, but I still want to recommend this book very highly to anyone who might be reading. Here is a prayer from the book:

“Justify my soul, O God, but also from Your fountains fill my will with fire. Shine in my mind, although perhaps this means ‘be darkness to my experience,’ but occupy my heart with Your tremendous Life… Let my tongue taste no bread that does not strengthen me to praise Your great mercy…. Stanch in me the rank wound of covetousness and the hungers that exhaust my nature with their bleeding. .. Untie my hands and deliver my heart from sloth. Set me free from the laziness that goes about disguised as activity when activity is not required of me, and from the cowardice that does what is not demanded, in order to escape sacrifice… But give me the strength that waits upon You in silence and peace. Give me humility in which alone is rest and deliver me from pride which is the heaviest of burdens. And possess my whole heart and soul with the simplicity of love.”

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