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Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Thomas Merton. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968) was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion. On May 26, 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name "Father Louis". He was a member of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, near Bardstown, Kentucky, living there from 1941 to his death.

Merton wrote more than 50 books in a period of 27 years, 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). His account of his spiritual journey inspired scores of World War II veterans, students, and teenagers to explore offerings of monasteries across the US. It is on National Review's list of the 100 best non-fiction books of the century.

Merton became a keen proponent of interfaith understanding, exploring Eastern religions through his study of mystic practice. He is particularly known for having pioneered dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual figures, including the Dalai Lama; Japanese writer D. T. Suzuki; Thai Buddhist monk Buddhadasa, and Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh. He traveled extensively in the course of meeting with them and attending international conferences on religion. In addition, he wrote books on Zen Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, and how Christianity related to them. This was highly unusual at the time in the United States, particularly within the religious orders.

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers.

--Thomas Merton



photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

Despair is the absolute extreme of self-love. It is reached when a man deliberately turns his back on all help from anyone else in order to taste the rotten luxury of knowing himself to be lost.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

The meaning of life is found in openness to being and being present in full awareness.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

To love our nothingness we must love everything in us that the proud man loves when he loves himself. But we must love it all for exactly the opposite reason.

--Thomas Merton

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

Conscience is the light by which we interpret the will of God in our own lives.

--Thomas Merton


photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

One opens the inner doors of one's heart to the infinite silences of the Spirit, out of whose abysses love wells up without fail and gives itself to all.

--Thomas Merton

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

God, have mercy on me in the blindness in which I hope I am seeking You!

--Thomas Merton

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

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

--Thomas Merton


photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

The true contemplative is one who has discovered the art of finding leisure even in the midst of his work, by working with such a spirit of detachment and recollection that even his work is a prayer.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

The man who sweats under his mask, whose role makes him itch with discomfort, who hates the division in himself, is already beginning to be free.

--Thomas Merton

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

Love is the epiphany of God in our poverty.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

The goal of fasting is inner unity.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

Sincerity must be bought at a price: the humility to recognize our innumerable errors, and fidelity in tirelessly setting them right.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

Every one of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false Self. We are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the ones we cherish about ourselves.

--Thomas Merton

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

All theology is a kind of birthday
Each one who is born
Comes into the world as a question
For which old answers
Are not sufficient.

--Thomas Merton

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

Spread abroad the name of Jesus in humility and with a meek heart; show him your feebleness, and he will become your strength.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

We have to have a deep, patient compassion for the fears of others and irrational mania of those who hate or condemn us.

--Thomas Merton

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

The center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

True happiness is not found in any other reward than that of being united with God. If I seek some other reward besides God Himself, I may get my reward but I cannot be happy.

--Thomas Merton

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

I shall lead you through the loneliness, the solitude you will not understand; but it is my shortcut to your soul.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

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
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

In the devil's theology, the important thing is to be absolutely right and to prove that everybody else is absolutely wrong.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

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.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

If there was no other proof of the infinite patience of God, a very good one could be found in His toleration of the pictures that are painted of Him.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

The greatest temptations are not those that solicit our consent to obvious sin, but those that offer us great evils masking as the greatest goods.

--Thomas Merton


photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

Every man has a vocation to be someone: but he must understand clearly that in order to fulfill this vocation he can only be one person: himself.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

Our vocation is not simply to be, but to work together with God in the creation of our own life, our own identity, our own destiny....To work out our identity in God.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

A man knows when he has found his vocation when he stops thinking about how to live and begins to live.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

But precisely this illusion that everything is clear is what is blinding us all. It is a serious temptation, and it is a subtle form of pride and worldly love of power and revenge.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

Into this world, this demented inn
in which there is absolutely no room for him at all,
Christ comes uninvited.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

Let me rest in Your will and be silent. Then the light of Your joy will warm my life. Its fire will burn in my heart and shine for Your glory. This is what I live for. Amen, amen.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

Love is free; it does not depend on the desirability of its object, but loves for love's sake.

--Thomas Merton


photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

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.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

We do not want to be beginners. But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything else but beginners, all our life!

--Thomas Merton

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

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.

--Thomas Merton

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

The light of truth burns without a flicker in the depths of a house that is shaken with storms of passion and fear.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

We cannot possess the truth fully until it has entered into the very substance of our life by good habits, and by a certain perfection of moral activity.

--Thomas Merton



photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

Ash Wednesday is full of joy...The source of all sorrow is the illusion that of ourselves we are anything but dust.

--Thomas Merton

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

For pride, which is the inordinate attribution of goods and values and glories to one's own contingent self, cannot exist where there is no contingent self to which anything can be attributed.

--Thomas Merton



photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

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?

--Thomas Merton

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

This is the crucifixion of Christ: in which He dies again and again in the individuals who were made to share the joy and freedom of His grace, and who deny Him.

--Thomas Merton



photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

While some men see ordinary happenings, others see divine light and guidance.

--Thomas Merton

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

Love triumphs, at least in this life, not by eliminating evil once for all, but by resisting and overcoming it anew every day.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

If you have love you will do all things well.

--Thomas Merton
photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

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




photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

The gate of heaven is everywhere.

--Thomas Merton






photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

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.

--Thomas Merton



photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

He who hopes in God trusts God, Whom he never sees, to bring him to the possession of things that are beyond imagination.

--Thomas Merton


photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

Prayer is an expression of who we are...We are a living incompleteness. We are a gap, an emptiness that calls for fulfillment.

--Thomas Merton

photo of author Thomas Merton with quote

You are certainly one of the joys of life for all who have ever come within a mile of you.

--Thomas Merton

We wish you a perfect day!