Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O. (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968) was an American Catholic writer and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion. In 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name Father Louis. Merton wrote more than 70 books, mostly on spirituality, social justice and a quiet pacifism, as well as scores of essays and reviews. Among Merton's most enduring works is his bestselling autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain (1948), which sent scores of World War II veterans, students, and even teenagers flocking to monasteries across the US, and was also featured in National Review's list of the 100 best non-fiction books of the century. Merton was a keen proponent of interfaith understanding. He pioneered dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual figures, including the Dalai Lama,... More

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Thomas Merton Quotes

Thomas Merton #Courage #God

Just remaining quietly in the presence of God, listening to Him, being attentive to Him, requires a lot of courage and know-how.
Thomas Merton #Future #Hope

Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it.
Thomas Merton #God

The very contradictions in my life are in some ways signs of God's mercy to me.
Thomas Merton #Happiness

When ambition ends, happiness begins.
Thomas Merton #Good #Love

Love seeks one thing only: the good of the one loved. It leaves all the other secondary effects to take care of themselves. Love, therefore, is its own reward.
Thomas Merton #History

If you want to study the social and political history of modern nations, study hell.
Thomas Merton #Learning #Work

The least of the work of learning is done in the classroom.
Thomas Merton #Love

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.
Thomas Merton #God #Peace

We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.
Thomas Merton #Alone #Life #Love

Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another.
Thomas Merton #Strength

Perhaps I am stronger than I think.
Thomas Merton #Time

We have what we seek, it is there all the time, and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us.
Thomas Merton #Art #Time

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
Thomas Merton #Imagination #Men #Time

We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have - for their usefulness.
Thomas Merton #God #Truth

The first step toward finding God, Who is Truth, is to discover the truth about myself: and if I have been in error, this first step to truth is the discovery of my error.
Thomas Merton #God #Music #Nature

By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.
Thomas Merton #Good #Peace

Be good, keep your feet dry, your eyes open, your heart at peace and your soul in the joy of Christ.
Thomas Merton #Inspirational #Life

Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul.
Thomas Merton #Life

A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all. No man can serve two masters. Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire.
Thomas Merton #Life

In the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for 'finding himself.' If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence.
Thomas Merton #Peace #Truth #War

Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.
Thomas Merton #Happiness

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.
Thomas Merton #Time

October is a fine and dangerous season in America. a wonderful time to begin anything at all. You go to college, and every course in the catalogue looks wonderful.
Thomas Merton #Death

Death is someone you see very clearly with eyes in the center of your heart: eyes that see not by reacting to light, but by reacting to a kind of a chill from within the marrow of your own life.