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Thomas Merton Quotes
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Thomas Merton Quote: “Spread abroad the name of Jesus in humility and with a meek heart; show him your feebleness, and he will become your strength.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “To become attached to the experience of peace is to threaten the true and essential and vital union of our soul with God above sense and experience in the darkness of a pure and perfect love.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “And that is why the man who wants to see clearly, before he will believe, never starts on the journey.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “God Himself begins to live in me not only as my Creator but as my other and true self.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “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 Quote: “Causes have effects, and if we lie to ourselves and to others, then we cannot expect to find truth and reality whenever we happen to want them. If we have chosen the way of falsity we must not be surprised that truth eludes us when we finally come to need it! O.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “You will never be able to have perfect interior peace and recollection unless you are detached even from the desire of peace and recollection. You will never be able to pray perfectly until you are detached from the pleasures of prayer.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Love is our true destiny.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “We are obliged to love one another. We are not strictly bound to ‘like’ one another. Love governs the will: ‘liking’ is a matter of sense and sensibility. Nevertheless, if we really love others it will not be too hard to like them also.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Without courage we can never attain to true simplicity. Cowardice keeps us “double minded” – hesitating between the world and God.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “A life that is without problems may literally be more hopeless, than one that always verges on despair.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “My true personality will be fulfilled in the Mystical Christ in this one way above all, that through me, Christ and His Spirit will be able to love you and all men and God the Father in a way that would be possible in no one else. Love.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Christianity is not stoicism. The Cross does not sanctify us by destroying human feeling. Detachment is not insensibility. Too many ascetics fail to become great saints precisely because their rules and ascetic practices have merely deadened their humanity instead of setting it free to develop richly, in all its capacities, under the influence of grace.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “The true spiritual life is a life neither of dionysian orgy nor of apollonian clarity: it transcends both. It is a life of wisdom, a life of sophianic love. In Sophia, the highest wisdom-principle, all the greatness and majesty of the unknown that is in God and all that is rich and maternal in His creation are united inseparably, as paternal and maternal principles, the uncreated Father and created Mother-Wisdom.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “That is the trouble with all introverts: not that they look within but that they are obsessed with “looking within” and afraid to do anything else. Afraid that if they stop looking they will disintegrate.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Infinite sharing is the law of God s inner life.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “ONE of the paradoxes of the mystical life is this: that a man cannot enter into the deepest center of himself and pass through that center into God, unless he is able to pass entirely out of himself and empty himself and give himself to other people in the purity of a selfless love.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “I refuse to be misled by any kind of a mirage about any alleged success of what I write. Those things are too easily exaggerated, and even when they are true, they always mean less than they seem to.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “His justice is the love that gives to each one of His creatures the gifts that His mercy has previously decreed. And His mercy is His love, doing justice to its own exigencies, and renewing the gift which we had failed to accept.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Our whole life is a meditation of our last decision – the only decision that matters.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Advertising treats all products with the reverence and the seriousness due to sacraments.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Every moment and every event of every man’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. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity, and love.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Pardon all runners, All speechless, alien winds, All mad waters. Pardon their impulses, Their wild attitudes, Their young flights, their reticence. When a message has no clothes on How can it be spoken.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “We do not hope for what we have. Therefore, to live in hope is to live in poverty, having nothing. And yet, if we abandon ourselves to economy of Divine Providence, we have everything we hope for. By faith we know God without seeing Him. By hope we possess God without feeling His presence. If we hope in God, by hope we already possess Him, since hope is a confidence which He creates in our souls as secret evidence that He has taken possession of us.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “A purely mental life may be destructive if it leads us to substitute thought for life and ideas for actions. The activity proper to man is purely mental because man is not just a disembodied mind. Our destiny is to live out what we think, because unless we live what we know, we do not even know it. It is only by making our knowledge part of ourselves, through action, that we enter into the reality that is signified by our concepts.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Solitude Is Not Separation SOME men have perhaps become hermits with the thought that sanctity could only be attained by escape from other men. But the only justification for a life of deliberate solitude is the conviction that it will help you to love not only God but also other men. If you go into the desert merely to get away from people you dislike, you will find neither peace nor solitude; you will only isolate yourself with a tribe of devils.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “A “FAITH” that merely confirms us in opinionatedness and self-complacency may well be an expression of theological doubt. True faith is never merely a source of spiritual comfort. It may indeed bring peace, but before it does so it must involve us in struggle. A “faith” that avoids this struggle is really a temptation against true faith.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “I suppose what makes me most glad is that we all recognize each other in this metaphysical space of silence and happening, and get some sense, for a moment, that we are full of paradise without knowing it.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Hope deprives us of everything that is not God, in order that all things may serve their true purpose as means to bring us to God. Hope is proportionate to detachment.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “The beginning of the fight against hatred, the basic Christian answer to hatred, is not the commandment to love, but what must necessarily come before in order to make the commandment bearable and comprehensible. It is a prior commandment, to believe. The root of Christian love is not the will to love, but the faith that one is loved. The faith that one is loved by God. That faith that one is loved by God although unworthy – or, rather, irrespective of one’s worth!”
Thomas Merton Quote: “The silence of the spheres is the music of a wedding feast. The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life, the more we analyze them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness. But it does not matter much because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “For the ones who are called saints by human opinion on earth may very well be devils, and their light may very well be darkness.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “The arguments of religious men are so often insincere, and their insincerity is proportionate to their anger. Why do we get angry about what we believe? Because we do not really believe it. Or else what we pretend to be defending as the “truth” is really our own self-esteem. A man of sincerity is less interested in defending the truth than in stating it clearly, for he thinks that if the truth be clearly seen it can very well take care of itself.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “There is a logic of language and a logic of mathematics.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “The art of our time, sacred art included, will necessarily be characterized by a certain poverty, grimness and roughness which correspond to the violent realities of a cruel age.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Love, in fact, is the spiritual life; and without it, all other exercises of the spirit are emptied of content.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “A daydream is an evasion.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “IT is not that someone else is preventing you from living happily; you yourself do not know what you want. Rather than admit this, you pretend that someone is keeping you from exercising your liberty. Who is this? It is you yourself.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Our destiny is to live out what we think, because unless we live what we know, we do not even know it.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Good moral actions are not enough. Everything in us, from the very depths, must be cleansed and reordered...”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Thinking about monastic ideals is not the same as living up to them, but at any rate such thinking has an important place in a monk’s life, because you cannot begin to do anything unless you have some idea what you are trying to do.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “May God prevent us from becoming “right-thinking men”-that is to say men who agree perfectly with their own police.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “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 Quote: “Place no hope in the feeling of assurance, in spiritual comfort. You may well have to get along without this.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “In an age where there is much talk about “being yourself” I reserve to myself the right to forget about being myself, since in any case there is very little chance of my being anybody else. Rather it seems to me that when one is too intent on “being himself” he runs the risk of impersonating a shadow.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “Love is perfect in proportion to it’s freedom.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “We can be, in some sense, friends to all men because there is no man on earth with whom we do not have something in common. But it would be false to treat too many men as intimate friends. It is not possible to be intimate with more than very few, because there are only very few in the world with whom we have practically everything in common. Love, then, must.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “The only unhappiness is not to love God.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “In the spiritual life there is no such thing as an indifference to love or hate.”
Thomas Merton Quote: “We never see the one truth that would help us begin to solve our ethical and political problems: that we are all more or less wrong, that we are all at fault, all limited and obstructed by our mixed motives, our self-deception, our greed, our self-righteousness and our tendency to aggression and hypocrisy.”
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