Thomas Merton Quotes

Who is Thomas Merton?

Thomas Merton was an American Trappist monk and writer.

Born January 31, 1915
Died December 10, 1968

Best 17 Quotes by Thomas Merton

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

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

“Anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity.”

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

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

“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.”

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

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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.”

“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.”

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

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

“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.”

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

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

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“The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.”


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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.”

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