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Merton on Sin

Posted at nothing new under the sun:

There is nothing interesting about sin, or about evil as evil.

And this evil is not a positive entity but the absence of a perfection that ought to be there. Sin as such is essentially boring because it is the lack of something that could appeal to our wills and our minds.

What attracts men to evil acts is not the evil in them but the good that is there, seen under a false aspect and with a distorted perspective. And the good seen from that angle is only the bait in a trap. When you reach out to take it, the trap is sprung and you are left with disgust and boredom – and hatred. Sinners are people who hate everything, because their world is necessarily full of betrayal, full of illusion, full of deception. And the greatest sinners are the most boring people in the world because they are also the most bored and ones who find life most tedious.

- Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation, 76.

After seeing this quote I went straight out and bought the first copy I could find. Thanks to Byron for this! What an amazing and truthful statement about the nature of sin.

One Comment

  1. Matt Wiebe wrote:

    That is definitely a brilliant quote!

    I guess I should take being bored as a dangerous sign then…

    Saturday, January 20, 2007 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

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