A love of Everyone and Everything

An excerpt from “New Seeds of Contemplation” by Thomas Merton

“Is it not true that the saints and the great contemplatives never loved created things, and had no understanding or appreciation of the world, with its sights and sounds and people living in it. They loved everything and everyone. Do you think that their love of God was compatible with a hatred for things that reflected Him and spoke of Him on every side? You will say that they were supposed to be absorbed in God and they had no eyes to see anything but Him. Do you think they walked around with faces like stones and did not listen to the voices of men speaking to them or understand the joys and sorrows of those who were around them? It was because the saints were absorbed in God that they were truly capable of seeing and appreciating created things and it was because they loved Him alone that they alone loved everybody.”