Thomas Merton Quotes

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

Thomas Merton

“A man who fails well is greater than one who succeeds badly.”

Thomas Merton

“Anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity.”

Thomas Merton

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

Thomas Merton

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

Thomas Merton

“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

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

Thomas Merton

“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

“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

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

Thomas Merton

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

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

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

Thomas Merton

“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. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”

Thomas Merton

“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

“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

“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