Saints are what they are not because their sanctity makes them admirable to others, but because the gift of sainthood makes it possible for them to admire everyone else.
Contemplative living is living in true relationship with oneself, God, others and nature, free of the illusions of separateness.
We do not see God in contemplation -- we know Him by love: for his pure love and when we taste the experience of loving God for his own sake alone, we know by experience who and what he is.
Let us come alive to the splendor that is all around us and see the beauty in ordinary things.
We must slow down to a human tempo and we'll begin to have time to listen.
The truth that many people never understand until it is too late is that the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer.
Zen is consciousness unstructured by particular form or particular system, a trans-cultural, trans-religious, transformed consciousness.
This is the greatest stumbling block in our spiritual discipline, which, in actuality, consists not in getting rid of the self but in realizing the fact that there is no such existence from the first.
There is no greater disaster in the spiritual life than to be immersed in unreality, for life is maintained and nourished in us by our vital relation with realities outside and above us.
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.
There is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace, my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him.
The cause of liberty becomes a mockery if the price to be paid is the wholesale destruction of those who are to enjoy liberty. Ghandi, quoted in Merton, p. 68.
Humility sets us free to do what is really good, by showing us our illusions and withdrawing our will from what was only an apparent good.
When you expect the world to end at any moment, you know there is no need to hurry. You take your time, you do your work well.
The biggest disease in North America is busyness.
Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice.
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.
If we seek paradise outside ourselves, we cannot have paradise in our hearts.
Our minds are like crows. They pick up everything that glitters, no matter how uncomfortable our nests get with all that metal in them.
To hope is to risk frustration. Make up your mind to risk frustration.
The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the other.... The whole purpose of life is to live by love.
October is a fine and dangerous season in America. It is dry and cool and the land is wild with red and gold and crimson, and all the lassitudes of August have seeped out of your blood, and you are full of ambition. It is a wonderful time to begin anything at all. You go to college, and every course in the catalogue looks wonderful. The names of the subjects all seem to lay open the way to a new world. Your arms are full of new, clean notebooks, waiting to be filled. You pass the doors of the library, and the smell of thousands of well-kept books makes your head swim with a clean and subtle pleasure.
My best writing has always been in journals.
The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly
The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.
What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we cannot cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?
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.
Here is an unspeakable secret: paradise is all around us and we do not understand.
Gratitude takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder.
The grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.
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.
Anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity.
If you yourself are at peace, then there is at least some peace in the world.
If we are to love sincerely, and with simplicity, we must first of all overcome the fear of not being loved.
On Pride: This sickness is most dangerous when it succeeds in looking like humility. When a proud man thinks he is humble his case is hopeless.
To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything.
To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us -- and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.
Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.
Reason is in fact the path to faith, and faith takes over when reason can say no more.
If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.
Music is pleasing not only because of the sound but because of the silence that is in it: without the alternation of sound and silence there would be no rhythm.
Even when it speaks, humility listens.
In humility is the greatest freedom. As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is important, you lose your peace of heart.
Humility is the surest sign of strength.
We cannot be happy if we expect to live all the time at the highest peak of intensity. Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.
Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone-we find it with another.
Advertising treats all products with the reverence and the seriousness due to sacraments.
We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves.
Be good, keep your feet dry, your eyes open, your heart at peace and your soul in the joy of Christ.
The very contradictions in my life are in some ways signs of God's mercy to me.
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.
We have what we seek, it is there all the time, and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us.
The tighter you squeeze, the less you have.
Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.
Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.