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05 September 2006 @ 09:10 am
Thomas Merton on Self-Conquest and Self-Surrender  
The phrase self-conquest can come to sound odious because very often it can mean not by the conquest of ourselves but a conquest by ourselves. A victory we have won by our own power. Over what? Precisely over what is other than ourself.

Real self-conquest is the conquest of ourselves not by ourselves but by the Holy Spirit. Self-conquest is really self surrender.

Yet before we can surrender ourselves we must become ourselves. For no one can give up what he does not possess.

More precisely – we have to have enough mastery of ourselves to renounce our own will into the hands of Christ – so that he may conquer what we cannot reach by our own efforts.
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