50 Most Popular Thomas Merton Quotes

Who was Thomas Merton?

Thomas Merton is a famous American priest. He is renowned for his contribution to various aspects of knowledge. He is known worldwide as a Christian priest, the social activist and ‘Trappist’ monk. As Thomas Merton was a priest, most of the people know him as his theological name. After becoming a priest, he is known as ‘Father Louis.’

Like the theological aspect, Thomas Merton had also become successful in his writing. He made a special place to the hearts of the people as the author and the poet. He spread knowledge through his writings. We can find a glimpse of his knowledge in Thomas Merton quotes. Thomas Merton wrote different books within twenty-seven years. In most of his books, he wrote about the religious aspects and social justice. 

 

Thomas Merton quotes:

  1. Thomas Merton quotes
    Thomas Merton quotes

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

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “The beginning of love is the will to let those we love to be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “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.”

― Thomas Merton

 

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

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “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.”

― Thomas Merton

 

 

  1. “Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers, hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed – but hate these things in yourself, not in another.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.”

― Thomas Merton

  1. If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.-Thomas Merton
    If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.-Thomas Merton

     “If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am. That I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself, and if I accept myself fully in the right way, I will already have surpassed myself.”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “Anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity.”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves and not to twist them to fit our own image.”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “But there is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question.”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “Only the man who has had to face despair is really convinced that he needs mercy. Those who do not want mercy never seek it. It is better to find God on the threshold of despair than to risk our lives in a complacency that has never felt the need of forgiveness. A life that is without problems may literally be more hopeless than one that always verges on despair.”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “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

 

  1. thomas merton quotes art
    Thomas Merton quotes art

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

― Thomas Merton

  1. “Life is this simple: we are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the divine is shining through it all the time. This is not just a nice story or a fable, it is true. ”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “Solitude is a way to defend the spirit against the murderous din of our materialism.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “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

 

  1. “Keeping a journal has taught me that there is not so much new in your life as you sometimes think. When you re-read your journal you find out that your latest discovery is something you already found out five years ago. Still, it is true that one penetrates deeper and deeper into the same ideas and the same experiences.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “Souls are like athletes, that need opponents worthy of them if they are to be tried and extended and pushed to the full use of their powers, and rewarded according to their capacity.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “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

 

  1. Reason is in fact the path to faith, and faith takes over when reason can say no more. -Thomas Merton
    Reason is in fact the path to faith, and faith takes over when reason can say no more. -Thomas Merton

    “Reason is in fact the path to faith, and faith takes over when reason can say no more.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “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.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “If our life is poured out in useless words, we will never hear anything, never become anything, and in the end, because we have said everything before we had anything to say, we shall be left speechless at the moment of our greatest decision.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. quotes from thomas merton
    quotes from Thomas Merton

    “Pride makes us artificial; humility makes us real”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “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

 

  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

 

  1. “I was not sure where I was going, and I could not see what I would do when I got [there]. But you saw further and clearer than I, and you opened the seas before my ship, whose track led me across the waters to a place I had never dreamed of, and which you were even then preparing to be my rescue and my shelter and my home.”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “What we have to be is what we are.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. Thomas Merton quotes about nature
    Thomas Merton quotes about nature

    “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.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “Every moment and every event of everyman’s life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men.”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “The deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless … beyond speech … beyond concept.”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “Ask me not where I live or what I like to eat . . . Ask me what I am living for and what I think is keeping me from living fully that.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “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

 

  1. Thomas Merton quotes love
    Thomas Merton quotes love

    “Despair is the absolute extreme of self-love. It is reached when a person 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

  1. “Hurry ruins saints as well as artists.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “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

  1. “A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying [God]. It “consents,” so to speak, to [God’s] creative love. It is expressing an idea which is in God and which is not distinct from the essence of God, and therefore a tree imitates God by being a tree”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. “The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them.”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “Be still:

There is no longer any need of comment.

It was a lucky wind

That blew away his halo with his cares,

A lucky sea that drowned his reputation.”

― Thomas Merton

 

  1. I will no longer wound myself with the thoughts and questions that have surrounded me like thorns that is a penance You do not ask of me. Thomas Merton
    I will no longer wound myself with the thoughts and questions that have surrounded me like thorns that is a penance You do not ask of me. Thomas Merton

    “I will no longer wound myself with the thoughts and questions that have surrounded me like thorns: that is a penance You do not ask of me.”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “The beginning of love is to let those we love to 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

 

  1. “We have the choice of two identities: the external mask which seems to be real…and the hidden, inner person who seems to us to be nothing, but who can give himself eternally to the truth in whom he subsists. (295)”

― Thomas Merton

  1. “The least of learning is done in the classrooms.”

― Thomas Merton

Why should we follow him?

Throughout his life, he spread knowledge about theological values and social justice. As a social activist, he tried to remove the social inequalities. He was conscious of his responsibilities towards the society and the people. He also spread his values towards the society and the people through his writings. He made the opportunity for the people to upgrade their feelings towards religion and society.

We should follow him and his ideas to be a responsible citizen. We should make the ability to make a difference between right and wrong. Only the religious values can invent this ability of us. If we can differentiate between justice and injustice, we can maintain social equality. The books of Thomas Merton will help us to think about social justice. We should also be responsible like him.

 

Biography of Thomas Merton:

Early Life:

Thomas Merton was born in France in the year 1915. He was the son of Owen Merton and Ruth Jenkins. Thomas Merton’s father was a painter, and his mother was an artist. He shifted to the United States after his birth due to the First World War. Thomas Merton lost his mother in his childhood. Later, he went to live with his mother’s family.

Education:

Thomas Merton started his education from a boys’ boarding school in Montauban. He made a good relationship with his friend at this school. After this school, Thomas Merton had admitted to Ripley Court Preparatory School of Surrey. Then he joined the Oakham School in England. 

After this, he admitted the Clare College, which is situated in Cambridge. He studied in Modern Languages there. In 1935, he joined Columbia University. Thomas Merton completed his B.A. and M.A. in English from Columbia University.

 

Career: 

We find Thomas Merton’s involvement in different occupations. He decided to become a priest and consulted with his friends about this. He also worked as a teacher. Later we find him becoming a famous ‘Trappist’ monk. He was successful in fulfilling his desire to be a priest. He became famous as a theologian. He also became popular for his writing. We also find Thomas Merton working as a social activist. 

 

Relationship and Death: 

Thomas Merton felt his intense feelings for a nurse appointed to take care of him when he was admitted to a hospital. He intensely loved the girl. Thomas Merton wrote about the girl mentioning “M” in his notebook. He left the hints about his feelings for that girl in his poem. He was successful in maintaining a balance between his love and his vow. In 1968, Thomas Merton died in Thailand.

 

 

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