Thomas Merton quotes
Life is this simple: We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the divine
shining through it all the time. This is not just a nice story or a fable, it is true.
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
Anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity.
I stand before you tonight to represent the people who do not count: The poor, the poets,
and monks. As long as there are people who are trying to realize the divine in themselves,
there shall be hope in the world.
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.
The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.
One of the first things to learn if you want to be a contemplative is to mind your own
business. Nothing is more suspicious, in a man who seems holy, than an impatient desire to
reform other men.
The solution of the problem of life is life itself. Life is not attained by reason and analysis but
first of all by living.
Only the man who has had to face despair is really convinced that he needs mercy. Those
who do not want mercy never seek it. It is better to find God on the threshold of despair
than to risk our lives in a complacency that has never felt the need of forgiveness. A life that
is without problems may literally be more hopeless than one that always verges on despair.
We do not exist for ourselves.
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.
Love is a special way of being alive.
Solitude is a way to defend the spirit against the murderous din of our materialism.
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.
We stumble and fall constantly, even when we are most enlightened.
Hurry ruins saints as well as artists.
By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with
me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is
charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.