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Thomas Merton quotes page 2

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

Learn how to meditate on paper. Drawing and writing are forms of meditation. Learn how to
contemplate works of art. Learn how to pray in the streets or in the country. Know how to
meditate not only when you have a book in your hand but when you are waiting for a bus or
riding in a train.
Thomas Merton

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

The Hindus are not looking for us to send them men who will build schools and hospitals,
although those things are good and useful in themselves - and perhaps very badly needed in
India: They want to know if we have any saints to send them.
Thomas Merton

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

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

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

Before we can become who we really are, we must become conscious of the fact that the
person who we think we are, here and now, is at best an impostor and a stranger.
Thomas Merton

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.
Thomas Merton

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

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

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

Any fool knows that you don't need money to get enjoyment out of life.
Thomas Merton

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

Humility is the surest sign of strength.
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

I am against war, against violence, against violent revolution, for peaceful settlement of
differences, for nonviolent but nevertheless radical changes. Change is needed, and violence
will not really change anything: At most it will only transfer power from one set of bull-headed
authorities to another.
Thomas Merton

Living is the constant adjustment of thought to life and life to thought in such a way that we
are always growing, always experiencing new things in the old and old things in the new.
Thomas Merton

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

You cannot be a man of faith unless you know how to doubt.
Thomas Merton

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

When ambition ends, happiness begins.
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

Solitude is a way to defend the spirit against the murderous din of our materialism.
Thomas Merton

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

We stumble and fall constantly, even when we are most enlightened.
Thomas Merton

Hurry ruins saints as well as artists.
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

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