Thoughts in Solitude Quotes

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Thoughts in Solitude Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton
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Thoughts in Solitude Quotes Showing 1-30 of 109
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“If our life is poured out in useless words, we will never hear anything, never become anything, and in the end, because we have said everything before we had anything to say, we shall be left speechless at the moment of our greatest decision.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“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, Thoughts in Solitude
“Violence is not completely fatal until it ceases to disturb us.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“A purely mental life may be destructive if it leads us to substitute thought for life and ideas for actions. The activity proper to man is purely mental because man is not just a disembodied mind. Our destiny is to live out what we think, because unless we live what we know, we do not even know it. It is only by making our knowledge part of ourselves, through action, that we enter into the reality that is signified by our concepts.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“When society is made up of men who know no interior solitude it can no longer be held together by love: and consequently it is held together by a violent and abusive authority. But when men are violently deprived of the solitude and freedom which are their due, then society in which they live becomes putrid, it festers with servility, resentment and hate.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“The only thing to seek in contemplative prayer is God; and we seek Him successfully when we realize that we cannot find Him unless He shows Himself to us, and yet at the same time that He would not have inspired us to seek Him unless we had already found Him.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“Those who are not grateful soon begin to complain of everything.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“Words stand between silence and silence: between the silence of things and the silence of our own being. Between the silence of the world and the silence of God. When we have really met and known the world in silence, words do not separate us from the world nor from other men, nor from God, nor from ourselves because we no longer trust entirely in language to contain reality.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“There is no greater disaster in the spiritual life than to be immersed in unreality, for life is maintained and nourished in us by our vital relation with realities outside and above us.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“What is the use of praying if at the very moment of prayer, we have so little confidence in God that we are busy planning our own kind of answer to our prayer?”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“It is not speaking that breaks our silence, but the anxiety to be heard. The words of the proud man impose silence on all others, so that he alone may be heard. The humble man speaks only in order to be spoken to.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“A man becomes a solitary at the moment when, no matter what may be his external surroundings, he is suddenly aware of his own inalienable solitude and sees that he will never be anything but solitary.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“If we want to be spiritual, then, let us first of all live our lives. Let us not fear the responsibilities and the inevitable distractions of the work appointed for us by the will of God.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts In Solitude
“This, then, is our desert: to live facing despair, but not to consent. To trample it down under hope in the Cross. To wage war against despair unceasingly.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“As soon as you are really alone you are with God.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“Some men turn away from all this cheap emotion with a kind of heroic despair…But this too can be an error. For if our emotions really die in the desert, our humanity dies with them.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“Laziness and cowardice are two of the greatest enemies of the spiritual life.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts In Solitude
“What we venerate in the Saints, beyond and above all that we know is this secret; the mystery of an innocence and of an identity perfectly hidden in God.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts In Solitude
“Christianity is not stoicism. The Cross does not sanctify us by destroying human feeling. Detachment is not insensibility. Too many ascetics fail to become great saints precisely because their rules and ascetic practices have merely deadened their humanity instead of setting it free to develop richly, in all its capacities, under the influence of grace.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts In Solitude
“We are not meant to resolve all contradictions but to live with them and rise above them and see them in the light of exterior and objective values which make them trivial by comparison.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“Our destiny is to live out what we think, because unless we live what we know, we do not even know it. It is only by making our knowledge part of ourselves, through action, that we enter into the reality that is signified by our concepts.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“The whole of life is to spiritualize our activities by humility and faith, to silence our nature by charity.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“Why did Christ become Man if not to save men by uniting them mystically with God through His own Sacred Humanity?”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts In Solitude
“For true humility is, in a way, a very real despair: despair of myself, in order that I may hope entirely in You.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
“And sooner or later, if we follow Christ we have to risk everything in order to gain everything. We have to gamble on the invisible and risk all that we can see and taste and feel. But we know the risk is worth it, because there is nothing more insecure than the transient world. For this world as we see it is passing away (1 Corinthians 7:31). Without courage we can never attain to true simplicity. Cowardice keeps us “double minded” —hesitating between the world and God. In this hesitation, there is no true faith—faith remains an opinion. We are never certain, because we never quite give in to the authority of an invisible God. This hesitation is the death of hope. We never let go of”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts In Solitude
“Without courage we can never attain to true simplicity. Cowardice keeps us “double minded” —hesitating between the world and God.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts In Solitude
“The proud man loves his own illusion and self-sufficiency. The spiritually poor man loves his very insufficiency.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts In Solitude

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