To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence: for God is love.
Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my character. Love is my name.
If, therefore, I do anything or think anything or say anything, or know anything or desire anything that is not purely for the love of God, it cannot give me peace, or rest, or fulfillment, or joy.
To find love I must enter into the sanctuary where it is hidden: which is the essence of God. And to enter into His sanctity I must become holy as He is holy, perfect as He is perfect. None of this can be done by any effort on my own, by any striving on my own, by any competition with other men. It means leaving all the ways that men can follow or understand.
I who am without love cannot become love unless Love identifies me with Himself. But if He sends His own Love, Himself, to act and love in me and in all that I do, then I shall be transformed, I shall discover who I am and shall possess my true identity by losing myself in Him.
And that is what is called sanctity.
(Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation, p. 46.)