Thomas Merton

Vocation to Solitude

Vocation to Solitude — To deliver oneself up, to hand oneself over, entrust oneself completely to the silence of a wide landscape of woods and hills, or sea, or desert; to sit still while the sun comes up over that land and fills its silences with light. To pray and work in the morning and to labor and rest in the afternoon, and to sit still again in meditation in the evening when night falls upon that land and when the silence fills itself with darkness and with stars... to belong completely to such silence, to let it soak into the bones, to breathe nothing but silence, to feed on silence, and to turn the very substance of life into a living and vigilant silence.

~ from THOUGHTS IN SOLITUDE by Thomas Merton
Thoughts In Solitude
By Thomas Merton

An invisible fecundity in all visible things

There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden wholeness. This mysterious unity and integrity is wisdom . . . There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a foundation of action and joy. It rises up in gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being.

~ from HAGIA SOPHIA by Thomas Merton, thanks to Br. Columba

The only true joy

The only true joy on earth is to escape from the prison of our own fake self and enter by Love into union with the Life who dwells and sings with the essence of every creature and in the core of our own souls.

~ Thomas Merton

Let me seek the gift of silence

Let me seek, then, the gift of silence, and poverty, and solitude, where everything I touch is turned into a prayer: where the sky is my prayer, the birds are my prayer, the wind in the trees is my prayer, for God is all in all.

~ from THOUGHTS IN SOLITUDE by Thomas Merton, thanks to Gary O’Guinn
Thoughts In Solitude
By Thomas Merton

Prayer opens up new ways and horizons

Prayer and meditation have an important part to play in opening up new ways and new horizons. If your prayer is the expression of a deep and grace-inspired desire for newness of life—and not the mere blind attachment to what has always been familiar and "safe"—God will act in us and to prepare what we cannot yet imagine or understand. In this way our prayer and faith today will be oriented toward the future which we ourselves may never see fully realized on earth.

~ from CONTEMPLATION IN A WORLD OF ACTION by Thomas Merton

Hope and silence

Silence is the strength of our interior life . . . if we fill our lives with silence, then we will live in hope.

~ by Thomas Merton

The silence that is printed in the center of our being

May we all grow in grace and peace, and not neglect the silence that is printed in the center of our being. It will not fail us.

~ Thomas Merton

To do work carefully and well

To do work carefully and well, with love and respect for the nature of my task and with due attention to its purpose, is to unite myself with God's will in my work.  I become an instrument for God to work through me.
 

~ from NEW SEEDS OF CONTEMPLATION by Thomas Merton

The real journey in life is interior

The real journey in life is interior. 
It is a matter of growth, deepening,
and of an ever greater surrender to the
creative love and grace in our hearts.
 

~ Thomas Merton

Our service to the world might be simply to keep a place where there is no noise

Since noise is increasing in all directions, the psychology of silence has taken on a special meaning. We are already so adapted to an abundance of screeching sound that we are surprised when stillness suddenly envelops us. Not that this happens very often. We begin to see that the whole question of our relation to the world, both positive and negative, centers in something like silence. So our service to the world might be simply to keep a place where there is no noise, where people can be silent together.

~ from THE SPRINGS OF CONTEMPLATION by Thomas Merton
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