Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.

Thomas Merton on pride
99

We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves.

Thomas Merton on capacities
9

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.

Thomas Merton on ego
6

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 on care
6

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 on seek
5

We do not exist for ourselves...

Thomas Merton on exist
5

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 on discover
5

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 on desire
5

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

Thomas Merton on christ
3

We stumble and fall constantly even when we are most enlightened.

But when we are in true spiritual darkness, we do not even know that we have fallen.

Thomas Merton on failure
3

The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.

Thomas Merton on human
2

We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.

Thomas Merton on unity
2

About Thomas Merton

Name Thomas Merton
Quotes 57 quotations
Nationality American
Profession Author
Birthday October 16
About Thomas Merton was one of the most influential Catholic authors of the 20th century. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, in the American state of Kentucky, Merton was an acclaimed Catholic spiritual writer, poet, author and social activist. Merton wrote over 60 books, scores of essays and reviews, and is the ongoing subject of many biographies.
Top topics life, love, spiritual, fact, truth

The tighter you squeeze, the less you have.

Thomas Merton on squeeze
2

Attachment to spiritual things is.. just as much an attachment as inordinate love of anything else.

Thomas Merton on attachment
2

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 on deepening
2

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.

Thomas Merton on art
2

A daydream is an evasion.

Thomas Merton on daydream
1

Wheels of fire, cosmic, rich, full-bodied honest victories over desperation.

Thomas Merton on cosmic
1

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 on analysis
1

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

Thomas Merton on contradictions
1

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 on nature
1

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 on god
0

To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is itself to succumb to the violence of our times. Frenzy destroys our inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.

Thomas Merton on service
0

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

Thomas Merton on life
0

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody's business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy if anything can.

Thomas Merton on acceptance
0

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 on beginning
0

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

Thomas Merton on life
0

At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will.

Thomas Merton on spirituality
0

We do not exist for ourselves alone, and it is only when we are fully convinced of this fact that we begin to love ourselves properly and thus also love others.

Thomas Merton on love
0

If you want to study the social and political history of modern nations, study hell.

Thomas Merton on history
0

One of the most important-and most neglected-elements in the beginning of the interior life is the ability to respond to reality, to see the value and the beauty in ordinary things, to come alive to the splendour that is all around us.

Thomas Merton on reality
0

Each one of us has some kind of vocation.

We are all called by God to share in His life and in His Kingdom. Each one of us is called to a special place in the Kingdom. If we find that place we will be happy. If we do not find it, we can never be completely happy. For each one of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God's will, to be what God wants us to be.

Thomas Merton on fate
0

I brought all the instincts of a writer with me into the monastery.

Thomas Merton on instincts
0

Memory is corrupted and ruined by a crowd of memories.

If I am going to have a true memory, there are a thousand things that must first be forgotten. Memory is not fully itself when it reaches only into the past. A memory that is not alive to the present does not remember the here and now, does not remember its true identity, is not memory at all. He who remembers nothing but facts and past events, and is never brought back into the present, is a victim of amnesia.

Thomas Merton on memory
0

The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of other men! A weird life it is, indeed, to be living always in somebody else's imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could at last become real.

Thomas Merton on praise
0

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 on america
0

Advertising treats all products with the reverence and the seriousness due to sacraments.

Thomas Merton on advertising
0

I cannot make the universe obey me. I cannot make other people conform to my own whims and fancies. I cannot make even my own body obey me.

Thomas Merton on control
0

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!

Thomas Merton on easy
0

You must realize that it is the ordinary way of God's dealings with us that our ideas do not work out speedily and efficiently as we would like them to. The reason for this is not only the loving wisdom of God, but also the fact that our acts have to fit into a great complex pattern that we cannot possibly understand. I have learned over the years that Providence is always a whole lot wiser than any of us, and that there are always not only good reasons, but the very best reasons for the delays and blocks that often seem to us so frustrating and absurd.

Thomas Merton on actions
0

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 on god
0

We live in a society whose whole policy is to excite every nerve in the human body and keep it at the highest pitch of artificial tension, to strain every human desire to the limit and create as many new desires and synthetic passions as possible, in order to cater to them with the products of our factories and printing presses and movie studios and all the rest.

Thomas Merton on advertising
0

Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin.

It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and, beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity.

Thomas Merton on act
0

What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.

Thomas Merton on abyss
0

The least of the work of learning is done in the classroom.

Thomas Merton on work
0

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 on conscience
0

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.

Thomas Merton on happiness
0

I am willing to admit that some people might live there for years, or even a lifetime, so protected that they never sense the sweet stench of corruption that is all around them -- the keen, thin scent of decay that pervades everything and accuses with a terrible accusation the superficial youthfulness, the abounding undergraduate noise, that fills those ancient buildings.

Thomas Merton on education
0

The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another

Thomas Merton on awareness
0

The least of learning is done in the classrooms.

Thomas Merton on learning
0