St. Gregory of Nyssa said that the contemplative, who has restored in his own soul the image of God, was the truly free man: for he alone could walk with God as Adam had walked with Him in Paradise. He alone could stand and speak freely to God his Father, with complete confidence. He alone could worthily bear his dignity as son of God and king of God's creation.

Thomas Merton, The Inner Experience by Thomas Merton, William H. Shannon, editor