HomeQuotes95+ Thomas Merton Quotes From Famous Monk and Mystic

95+ Thomas Merton Quotes From Famous Monk and Mystic

Thomas Merton was born in Prades, France, on January 31, 1915. Merton is known for writing classics like ‘New Seeds of Contemplation’, ‘The Seven Storey Mountain’ and ‘Zen and the Birds of Appetite’. The Merton family at this time was one of rather poor, impractical idealists, dedicated to art and peace but not notably religious. He was one of the most important American Roman Catholic writers of the 20th century. He was also a author, journalist, monk. In Louisville hospital, he got his back pain treated in 1966 because this pain was very high and he was having a lot of problem with this pain. Merton was to attend an interfaith conference between Catholic and non-Christian monks On 10 December 1968 but When he came out after taking bath and by mistake he touched the electric fan wire and he died painfully by shock. This post contains 98 of his best quotes about love, life and faith.

Thomas Merton Quotes

  • “The Holy Spirit is the most perfect gift of the Father to men, and yet He is the one gift which the Father gives most easily.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Christ is born to us today, in order that he may appear to the whole world through us.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “True contemplation is not a psychological trick but a theological grace. It can come to us ONLY as a gift, and not as a result of our own clever use of spiritual techniques.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Attachment to spiritual things is… just as much an attachment as inordinate love of anything else.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all. No man can serve two masters. Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “If you want to have a spiritual life you must unify your life. Life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.”- Thomas Merton.
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  • “In Silence, God ceases to be an object and becomes an experience.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “When you see God in everyone, then they see God in you.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Nothing has ever been said about God that hasn’t already been said better by the wind in the pine trees.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Every breath we draw is a gift of God’s love; every moment of existence is a grace.”- Thomas Merton.
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  • “Prayer is not so much a way to find God as a way of resting in him…who loves us, who is near to us.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “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
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  • “There is in every intellect a natural exigency for a true concept of God: we are born with the thirst to know and to see Him, and therefore it cannot be otherwise.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “The very contradictions in my life are in some ways signs of God’s mercy to me.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “A humble man is not afraid of failure. In fact, he is not afraid of anything, even himself, since perfect humility implies perfect confidence in the power of God.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Infinite sharing is the law of God’s inner life.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “A bad book about the love of God remains a bad book.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Our knowledge of God is perfected by gratitude: we are thankful and rejoice in the experience of the truth that He is love…”- Thomas Merton
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  • “A Christian is committed to the belief that Love and Mercy are the most powerful forces on earth.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “The God of peace is never glorified by human violence.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “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
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  • “If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.”- Thomas Merto
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  • “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.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Now anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity. It is the fruit of unanswered questions. But questions cannot go unanswered unless they first be asked.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Peace is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “If you yourself are at peace, then there is at least some peace in the world.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “What I wear is pants. What I do is live. How I pray is to breathe.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “But there is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “A man knows when he has found his vocation when he stops thinking about how to live and begins to live.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Reason is in fact the path to faith, and faith takes over when reason can say no more.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Let us come alive to the splendor that is all around us and see the beauty in ordinary things.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “We have what we seek, it is there all the time, and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “You are made in the image of what you desire.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Perhaps I am stronger than I think.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “People are in a hurry to magnify themselves by imitating what is popular- and too lazy to think of anything better.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “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
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  • “Pride makes us artificial; humility makes us real”- Thomas Merton
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  • “The least of learning is done in the classrooms.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Hurry ruins saints as well as artists”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Violence is not completely fatal until it ceases to disturb us.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “A man who fails well is greater than one who succeeds badly”- Thomas Merton
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  • “ The end of the world will be legal”- Thomas Merton
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  • “In the end, it’s the reality of personal relationships that save everything.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul”- Thomas Merton
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  • “People have no idea what one saint can do: for sanctity is stronger than the whole of hell.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “The religious answer is not really religious if it’s not fully real. Evasion is the answer to superstition.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “What every man looks for in life is his own salvation and the salvation of the men he lives with. By salvation I mean first of all the full discovery of who he himself really is”- Thomas Merton
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  • “The whole aim of Zen is not to make foolproof statements about the experience, but to come to direct grips with reality without the mediation of logical verbalizing.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Where self-interest is the bond, The friendship is dissolved When calamity comes. Where Tao is the bond, Friendship is made perfect By calamity.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “There is always a temptation to diddle around in contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “ I cannot make the universe obey me. I cannot make other people conform to my own whims and fancies. I cannot make even my own body obey me.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “I brought all the instincts of a writer with me into the monastery.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Advertising treats all products with the reverence and the seriousness due to sacraments.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “ Wheels of fire, cosmic, rich, full-bodied honest victories over desperation.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “To consider persons and events and situations only in the light of their effect upon myself is to live on the doorstep of hell.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “When ambition ends, happiness begins.”- 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.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony”- Thomas Merton
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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…”- 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
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  • “We are already one and we imagine we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. Whatever we have to be is what we are.”- Thomas Merton
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You may also like: Faith Quotes to Uplift You in Difficult Times

  • “The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Modern man believes he is fruitful and productive when his ego is aggressively affirmed, when he is visibly active, and when his action produces obvious results.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Our whole life is a meditation of our last decision – the only decision that matters.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “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
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  • “Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “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. The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the end, the one who suffers most.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “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
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  • “Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things”- Thomas Merton
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Thomas Merton quote

“We do not exist for ourselves.”- Thomas Merton

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  • “A life that is without problems may literally be more hopeless, than one that always verges on despair.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “How deluded we sometimes are by the clear notions we get out of books. They make us think that we really understand things of which we have no practical knowledge at all.”- Thomas Merton
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Thomas Merton quotes on faith

“If you have never had any distractions you don’t know how to pray.”- Thomas Merton

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  • “Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.”- 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.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “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
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  • “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Duty does not have to be dull. Love can make it beautiful and fill it with life.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “The beginning of love is the will to let those we love to be perfectly themselves.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “My life is a mystery which I do not attempt to really understand, as though I were led by the hand in a night where I see nothing, but can fully depend on the Love and Protection of Him Who guides me.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Prayer and love are really learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and your heart turns to stone.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “For if I am to love truly and freely, I must be able to give something that is truly my own to another.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “The logic of the poet — that is, the logic of language or the experience itself — develops the way a living organism grows: it spreads out towards what it loves, and is heliotropic, like a plant.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “Fear narrows the little entrance of our heart. It shrinks up our capacity to love. It freezes up our power to give ourselves.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.”- Thomas Merton
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  • “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
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Thomas Merton quotes on love

“We love the things we pretend to laugh at.”- Thomas Merton

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  • “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.
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