37 Thomas Merton Quotes To Lead A Spiritual And Successful Life

Thomas Merton was born in Prades, France on January 31, 1915, and was an incredible American Trappist Monk. Besides being a Monk, he was a writer, theologian, mystic, poet, a great scholar of comparative religion, and a social activist. Thomas Merton quotes reflect his perspective of how life should be lived.

In his entire career, Merton wrote more than seventy books in different genres including, spirituality, social justice, and pacifism. He was a great essayist as well and most of them had an essence of spirituality only. Among all his seventy-plus books, the bestselling was his own autobiography which was called ‘The Seven Storey Mountain’ which was published in the year 1948. The book was appreciated and liked by a huge portion of the audience and was one of his best-sellers. Not only this, but the book was also featured in the list of the 100 best non-fiction books of the Century in National Reviews. Later, on May 26, 1949, Merton was ordained to the Priesthood and was given the name ‘Father Louis’. Here are the Thomas Merton quotes to help you lead a spiritual and successful life.

1. Violence is not completely fatal until it ceases to disturb us. – Thomas Merton

2. ‎Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. – Thomas Merton

3. The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little. – Thomas Merton

4. Our vocation is not simply to be, but to work together with God in the creation of our own life, our own identity, our own destiny….To work out our identity in God. – Thomas Merton

5. 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

6. Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. – Thomas Merton

7. The beginning of love is to let those we love to be perfectly themselves and not to twist them to fit our own image. – Thomas Merton

8. Hurry ruins saints as well as artists. – Thomas Merton

9. In our creation, God asked a question and in our truly living; God answers the question. – Thomas Merton

10. What we have to be is what we are. – Thomas Merton quotes

11. Solitude is a way to defend the spirit against the murderous din of our materialism. – Thomas Merton

12. 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. – Thomas Merton

13. Music is pleasing not only because of the sound but because of the silence that is in it: without the alternation of sound and silence, there would be no rhythm. – Thomas Merton

14. Life is this simple: we are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the divine is shining through it all the time. This is not just a nice story or a fable, it is true. – Thomas Merton

15. 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. – Thomas Merton

16. The least of learning is done in the classrooms. – Thomas Merton

17. The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them. – Thomas Merton

18. Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and the heart has turned to stone. – Thomas Merton

19. Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him. – Thomas Merton

20. Ask me not where I live or what I like to eat . . . Ask me what I am living for and what I think is keeping me from living fully that. – Thomas Merton

21. 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

22. Pride makes us artificial; humility makes us real. – Thomas Merton

23. 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

24. If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit. – Thomas Merton

25. Reason is in fact the path to faith, and faith takes over when reason can say no more. – Thomas Merton

26. Anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity. – Thomas Merton

27. A man knows when he has found his vocation when he stops thinking about how to live and begins to live. – Thomas Merton

28. The solution of the problem of life is life itself. Life is not attained by reason and analysis but first of all by living. – Thomas Merton

29. The light of truth burns without a flicker in the depths of a house that is shaken with storms of passion and fear. – Thomas Merton

30. We do not want to be beginners [at prayer]. but let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything but beginners, all our life! – Thomas Merton

31. But there is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question. – Thomas Merton

32. The deepest of level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless … beyond speech … beyond concept. – Thomas Merton

33. A man who fails well is greater than one who succeeds badly. – Thomas Merton quotes

34. The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds. – Thomas Merton

35. For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self. – Thomas Merton

36. Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. – Thomas Merton

37. Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another. – Thomas Merton

I hope you love reading Thomas Merton quotes. Let me know your favorite quote in the comments below.

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Nakul Grover

Nakul Grover, author of Superhuman In You and the one who runs this blog. He has been writing on self-improvement since 2014. Featured on various websites, his works have helped thousands of people to live an extraordinary life. He loves spending his leisure hours in reading books and learning new skills.

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