Thomas Merton

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

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

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

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

We do not exist for ourselves.
Thomas Merton

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perhaps I am stronger than I think.
Thomas Merton

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

To consider persons and events and situations only in the light of their effect upon myself is to live on the doorstep of hell.
Thomas Merton

A daydream is an evasion.
Thomas Merton

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

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.
Thomas Merton

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

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

The tighter you squeeze, the less you have.
Thomas Merton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When ambition ends, happiness begins.
Thomas Merton

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

Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.
Thomas Merton

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

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 biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.
Thomas Merton

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

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

Previous post:

Next post: