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
The most terrific Thomas Merton quotes you will be delighted to read
Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers, hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed - but hate these things in yourself, not in another.
You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.
"Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.
Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another.
Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things.
The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds
People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.
Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.
Love is not a matter of getting what you want.
Quite the contrary. The insistence on always having what you want, on always being satisfied, on always being fulfilled, makes love impossible.
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
It is easy enough to tell the poor to accept their poverty as Gods will when you yourself have warm clothes and plenty of food and medical care and a roof over your head and no worry about the rent. But if you want them to believe youtry to share some of their poverty and see if you can accept it as Gods will yourself!
Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul.
May God prevent us from becoming "right-thinking men"-that is to say men who agree perfectly with their own police.
Nothing has ever been said about God that hasn't already been said better by the wind in the pine trees.
Ash Wednesday is full of joy...The source of all sorrow is the illusion that of ourselves we are anything but dust.
We live on the brink of disaster because we do not know how to let life alone.
We do not respect the living and fruitful contradictions and paradoxes of which true life is full.
You are made in the image of what you desire.
Every breath we draw is a gift of God's love; every moment of existence is a grace.
Before we can realize who we really are, we must become conscious of the fact that the person we think we are, here and now, is at best an impostor and a stranger.
Weaknesses and deficiencies . . . play a most important part in all our lives. It is because of them that we need others and others need us. We are not all weak in the same spots, and so we supplement and complete one another, each one making up in himself for the lack in another.
I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity .
.. I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.
True happiness is found in unselfish Love, A love which increases in proportion as it is shared.
We have to have a deep, patient compassion for the fears of others and irrational mania of those who hate or condemn us.
In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers.
What do I mean by loving ourselves properly? I mean first of all, desiring to live, accepting life as a very great gift and a great good, not because of what it gives us, but because of what it enables us to give to others.
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.
The geographical pilgrimage is the symbolic acting out an inner journey.
The inner journey is the interpolation of the meanings and signs of the outer pilgrimage. One can have one without the other. It is best to have both.
Gratitude takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder.
Be good, keep your feet dry, your eyes open, your heart at peace and your soul in the joy of Christ.
When I pray for peace, I pray not only that the enemies of my own country may cease to want war, but above all that my country will cease to do the things that make war inevitable.
The more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt. The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the end, the one who suffers most.
Perhaps I am stronger than I think.
For power can guarantee the interests of some men but it can never foster the good of man. Power always protects the good of some at the expense of all the others. Only love can attain and preserve the good of all. Any claim to build the security of all on force is a manifest imposture.
There were only a few shepherds at the first Bethlehem.
The ox and the donkey understood more of the first Christmas than the high priests in Jerusalem. And it is the same today.
For perfect hope is achieved on the brink of despair, when instead of falling over the edge, we find ourselves walking on air.
Do not be too quick to assume your enemy is a savage just because he is your enemy. Perhaps he is your enemy because he thinks you are a savage. Or perhaps he is afraid of you because he feels that you are afraid of him. And perhaps if he believed you are capable of loving him he would no longer be your enemy.
How can I be sincere if I am constantly changing my mind to conform with the shadow of what I think others expect of me?
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 true character. Love is my name.
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.
Surrender your own poverty and acknowledge your nothingness to the Lord.
Whether you understand it or not, God loves you, is present in you, lives in you, dwells in you, calls you, saves you and offers you an understanding and compassion which are like nothing you have ever found in a book or heard in a sermon.
In humility is the greatest freedom. As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is important, you lose your piece of heart. As soon as you compare that shadow with the shadows of other people, you lose all joy, because you have begun to trade in unrealities and there is no joy in things that do not exist.
The real hope is not in something we think we can do, but in God, who is making something good out of it in some way we cannot see.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me...you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Do not be too quick to condemn the man who no longer believes in God: for it is perhaps your own coldness and avarice and mediocrity and materialism and selfishness that have chilled his faith.
I am beginning to realize that "sanity" is no longer a value or an end in itself. The "sanity" of modern man is about as useful to him as the huge bulk and muscles of the dinosaur. If he were a little less sane, a little more doubtful, a little more aware of his absurdities and contradictions, perhaps there might be a possibility of his survival.
We cannot achieve greatness unless we lose all interest in being great.
We are not converted only once in our lives but many times and this endless series of conversions and inner revolutions leads to our transformation.
Modern man believes he is fruitful and productive when his ego is aggressively affirmed, when he is visibly active, and when his action produces obvious results.
What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we cannot cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?