Thomas Merton: 12 Quotes

Pope Francis called him an exemplary American. So who is/was Thomas Merton? He was a Trappist monk, prolific author, and social activist. He advocated for civil equality, the non-proliferation of nukes, and an understanding between religions. Get to know this exemplary American through some of the inspired things he said…

  • “Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.”
  • “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” [No Man Is an Island]
  • “The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.”
  • “Reason is in fact the path to faith, and faith takes over when reason can say no more.”
  • “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” [Love and Living]
  • “To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.”
  • “The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves and not to twist them to fit our own image.”
  • “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.”
  • “Souls are like athletes, that need opponents worthy of them, if they are to be tried and extended and pushed to the full use of their powers, and rewarded according to their capacity.” [The Seven Storey Mountain]
  • “The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds”
  • “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.” [Thoughts in Solitude]
  • “Violence is not completely fatal until it ceases to disturb us.” [Thoughts in Solitude]
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