What the Fathers Sought most of all was their own true self, in Christ. And in order to do this, they had to reject completely the false, formal self, fabricated under social compulsion 'in the world.' They sought a way to God that was uncharted and freely chosen, not inherited from others who had it mapped out beforehand. They sought out a God whom they alone could find, not one who was 'given' in a set, stereotyped form by somebody else.
Thomas Merton, The Wisdom of the Desert