Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968) was an American Catholic writer, theologian and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion. In 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name Father Louis.

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The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.

A daydream is an evasion.

Perhaps I am stronger than I think.

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

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.

When ambition ends happiness begins.

Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion labor that is profound repose vision in obscurity and beyond all desire a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity.

Be good keep your feet dry your eyes open your heart at peace and your soul in the joy of Christ.

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

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.

Wheels of fire cosmic rich full-bodied honest victories over desperation.

Death is someone you see very clearly with eyes in the center of your heart: eyes that see not by reacting to light but by reacting to a kind of a chill from within the marrow of your own life.

The tighter you squeeze the less you have.

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.

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.

In the last analysis the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for "finding himself." If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence.

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.

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.

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