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 Thomas Merton Quotes
26 Famous Quotes by Thomas Merton
1/31/1915 - 12/10/1968
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About Thomas Merton

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

Art Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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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.

Labor Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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Feast of the Beheading of John the Baptist 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.

Christianity Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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Commemoration of Thomas Merton, Monk, Spiritual Writer, 1968 This matter of "salvation" is, when seen intuitively, a very simple thing. But when we analyze it, it turns into a complex tangle of paradoxes. We become ourselves by dying to ourselves. We gain only what we give up, and if we give up everything we gain everything. We cannot find ourselves within ourselves, but only in others; yet at the same time, before we can go out to others we must first find ourselves. We must forget ourselves in order to become truly conscious of who we are. The best way to love ourselves is to love others; yet we cannot love others unless we love ourselves, since it is written, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." But if we love ourselves in the wrong way, we become incapable of loving anybody else. And indeed when we love ourselves wrongly, we hate ourselves; if we hate ourselves we cannot help hating others. Yet there is a sense in which we must hate others and leave them in order to find God... As for this finding of God, we cannot even look for Him unless we have already found Him, and we cannot find Him unless He has first found us. We cannot begin to seek Him without a special gift of His grace; yet if we wait for grace to move us before beginning to seek Him, we will probably never begin.

Christianity Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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

Harmony Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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

Balance Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more that 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.

Life Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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

Nations Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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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.

Compassion Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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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.

Fidelity Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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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.

Purity Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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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.

Reflection Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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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.

Sacrifice Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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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 because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt

Suffering Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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October is a fine and dangerous season in America . . . a wonderful time to begin anything at all.

October Quotes, by Thomas Merton , Source: recalled on his death, Dec. 10, 1968

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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.

Life Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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Prayer is the movement of trust, of gratitude, of adoration, or of sorrow, that places us before God, seeing both Him and ourselves in the light of His infinite truth, and moves us to ask Him for the mercy, the spiritual strength, the material help, that we all need. The man whose prayer is so pure that he never asks God for anything does not know who God is, and does not know who he is himself: for he does not know his own need of God. All true prayer somehow confesses our absolute dependence on the Lord of life and death. It is, therefore, a deep and vital contact with Him whom we know not only as Lord but as Father. It is when we pray truly that we really are. Our being is brought to a high perfection by this.

Christianity Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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The most dangerous man in the world is the contemplative who is guided by nobody. He trusts his own visions. He obeys the attractions of an interior voice but will not listen to other men. He identifies the will of God with anything that makes him feel, within his own heart, a big, warm, sweet interior glow. The sweeter and the warmer the feeling is, the more he is convinced of his own infallibility.

Christianity Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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Commemoration of Lanfranc, Prior of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1089 Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and your heart has turned to stone.

Christianity Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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Commemoration of Thomas Merton, Monk, Spiritual Writer, 1968 The great thing, and the only thing, is to adore and praise God.

Christianity Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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Feast of Mary Sumner, Founder of the Mothers' Union, 1921 We must be willing to accept the bitter truth that, in the end, we may have to become a burden to those who love us. But it is necessary that we face this also. The full acceptance of our abjection and uselessness is the virtue that can make us and others rich in the grace of God. It takes heroic charity and humility to let others sustain us when we are absolutely incapable of sustaining ourselves. We cannot suffer well unless we see Christ everywhere, both in suffering and in the charity of those who come to the aid of our affliction.

Christianity Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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Commemoration of Thomas Merton, Monk, Spiritual Writer, 1968 Our knowledge of God is paradoxically not of him as the object of our scrutiny, but of ourselves as utterly dependent on his saving and merciful knowledge of us. It is in proportion, as we are known to him that we find our real being and identity in Christ. We know him in and through ourselves in so far as his truth is the source of our being and his merciful love is the very heart of our life and existence.

Christianity Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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Feast of Anskar, Archbishop of Hamburg, Missionary to Denmark and Sweden, 865 We must be willing to accept the bitter truth that, in the end, we may have to become a burden to those who love us. But it is necessary that we face this also. The full acceptance of our abjection and uselessness is the virtue that can make us and others rich in the grace of God. It takes heroic charity and humility to let others sustain us when we are absolutely incapable of sustaining ourselves. We cannot suffer well unless we see Christ everywhere, both in suffering and in the charity of those who come to the aid of our affliction.

Christianity Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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Commemoration of Thomas Merton, Monk, Spiritual Writer, 1968 We must remember that our experience of union with God, our feeling of His presence, is altogether accidental and secondary. It is only a side effect of His actual presence in our souls, and gives no sure indication of that presence in any case. For God Himself is above all apprehensions and ideas and sensations, however spiritual, that can ever be experienced by the spirit of man in this life.

Christianity Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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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.

Being Quotes, by Thomas Merton

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