Thomas Merton Quotes

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Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O. (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968) was an American Catholic writer, theologian and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion. In 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name Father Louis.

Merton wrote more than 70 books, mostly on spirituality, social justice and a quiet pacifism, as well as scores of essays and reviews. Among Merton’s most enduring works is his bestselling autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain (1948), which sent scores of World War II veterans, students, and even teenagers flocking to monasteries across the US, and was also featured in National Review’s list of the 100 best non-fiction books of the century. Merton was a keen proponent of interfaith understanding. He pioneered dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual figures, including the Dalai Lama, the Japanese writer D.T. Suzuki, the Thai Buddhist monk Buddhadasa, and the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, and authored books on Zen Buddhism and Taoism. In the years since his death, Merton has been the subject of several biographies.

The Seven Storey Mountain
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A modern-day Confessions of Saint Augustine, The Seven Storey Mountain is one of the most influential religious works of the twentieth century. This edition contains an introduction by Merton's editor, Robert Giroux, and a note to the reader by biographer William H....
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New Seeds of Contemplation
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One of the best-loved books by one of the great spiritual authors of our time, with a new introduction by best-selling author Sue Monk Kidd.New Seeds of Contemplation is one of Thomas Merton's most widely read and best-loved books. Christians and non-Christians alike ha...
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No Man Is an Island
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A recapitulation of his earlier work Seeds of Contemplation, this collection of sixteen essays plumbs aspects of human spirituality. Merton addresses those in search of enduring values, fulfillment, and salvation in prose that is, as always, inspiring and compassionate....
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Thoughts In Solitude
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Thoughtful and eloquent, as timely (or timeless) now as when it was originally published in 1956, Thoughts in Solitude addresses the pleasure of a solitary life, as well as the necessity for quiet reflection in an age when so little is private. Thomas Merton writes: "Wh...
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Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.

— Thomas Merton

If you yourself are at peace, then there is at least some peace in the world.

— Thomas Merton

Peace demands the most heroic labour and the most difficult sacrifice.

— Thomas Merton

We must be true inside, true to ourselves, before we can know a truth that is outside us.

— Thomas Merton