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Engrave this Quote It is easy enough to tell the poor to accept their poverty as Gods will when you yourself have warm clothes and plenty of food and medical care and a roof over your head and no worry about the rent. But if you want them to believe youtry to share some of their poverty and see if you can accept it as Gods will yourself!
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-Thomas Merton
Acceptance
Engrave this Quote Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody's business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy if anything can.
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-Thomas Merton
Action(s)
Engrave this Quote You must realize that it is the ordinary way of God's dealings with us that our ideas do not work out speedily and efficiently as we would like them to. The reason for this is not only the loving wisdom of God, but also the fact that our acts have to fit into a great complex pattern that we cannot possibly understand. I have learned over the years that Providence is always a whole lot wiser than any of us, and that there are always not only good reasons, but the very best reasons for the delays and blocks that often seem to us so frustrating and absurd.
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-Thomas Merton, The Hidden Ground of Love: The Letters of Thomas Merton on Religious Experience and Social Concerns
Advertising
Engrave this Quote We live in a society whose whole policy is to excite every nerve in the human body and keep it at the highest pitch of artificial tension, to strain every human desire to the limit and create as many new desires and synthetic passions as possible, in order to cater to them with the products of our factories and printing presses and movie studios and all the rest.
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-Thomas Merton
America
Engrave this Quote October is a fine and dangerous season in America...a wonderful time to begin anything at all. You go to college, and every course in the catalogue looks wonderful.
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-Thomas Merton, Recalled on his death December 10, 1968
Attachment
Engrave this Quote Attachment to spiritual things is.. just as much an attachment as inordinate love of anything else.
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-Thomas Merton
Control
Engrave this Quote I cannot make the universe obey me. I cannot make other people conform to my own whims and fancies. I cannot make even my own body obey me.
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-Thomas Merton
Death
Engrave this Quote Death is someone you see very clearly with eyes in the center of your heart: eyes that see not by reacting to light, but by reacting to a kind of a chill from within the marrow of your own life.
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-Thomas Merton
Discovery
Engrave this Quote We have what we seek. It is there all the time, and if we give it time it will make itself known to us.
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-Thomas Merton
Education
Engrave this Quote I am willing to admit that some people might live there for years, or even a lifetime, so protected that they never sense the sweet stench of corruption that is all around them -- the keen, thin scent of decay that pervades everything and accuses with a terrible accusation the superficial youthfulness, the abounding undergraduate noise, that fills those ancient buildings.
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-Thomas Merton
Ego
Engrave this Quote Modern man believes he is fruitful and productive when his ego is aggressively affirmed, when he is visibly active, and when his action produces obvious results.
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-Thomas Merton, Love & Living
Expectation
Engrave this Quote Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.
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-Thomas Merton
Failure
Engrave this Quote We stumble and fall constantly even when we are most enlightened. But when we are in true spiritual darkness, we do not even know that we have fallen.
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-Thomas Merton
Fate & Destiny
Engrave this Quote Each one of us has some kind of vocation. We are all called by God to share in His life and in His Kingdom. Each one of us is called to a special place in the Kingdom. If we find that place we will be happy. If we do not find it, we can never be completely happy. 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.
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-Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island
Help
Engrave this Quote We do not exist for ourselves...
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-Thomas Merton
Kindness
Engrave this Quote The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another
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-Thomas Merton
Memory
Engrave this Quote Memory is corrupted and ruined by a crowd of memories. If I am going to have a true memory, there are a thousand things that must first be forgotten. Memory is not fully itself when it reaches only into the past. A memory that is not alive to the present does not remember the here and now, does not remember its true identity, is not memory at all. He who remembers nothing but facts and past events, and is never brought back into the present, is a victim of amnesia.
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-Thomas Merton
Pacifism
Engrave this Quote I certainly do not consider myself permanently dedicated to a crusade for peace and I am beginning to see the uselessness and absurdity of getting too involved in a 'peace movement.' The chief reason why I have spoken out was that I felt I owed it to my conscience to do so. There are certain things that have to be clearly stated. I had in mind particularly the danger arising from the fact that some of the most belligerent people in this country are Christians, on the one hand fundamentalist Protestants and on the other certain Catholics. They both tend to appeal to the bomb to do a 'holy' work of destruction in the name of Christ and Christian truth. This is completely intolerable and the truth has to be stated. I cannot in conscience remain indifferent.
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-Thomas Merton, letter to Czeslaw Milosz collected in Courage For Truth: The Letters Of Thomas Merton To Writers (1993), March, 1962
Personality
Engrave this Quote The monk in hiding himself from the world becomes not less than himself, not less of a person, but more of a person, more truly and perfectly himself: for his personality and individuality are perfected in their true order, the spiritual, interior order.
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-Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain, pt. 3, ch. 2 describing Merton's impressions following his first visit to the Trappist monastery which he later joined, 1948
Praise
Engrave this Quote The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of other men! A weird life it is, indeed, to be living always in somebody else's imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could at last become real.
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-Thomas Merton
Reality
Engrave this Quote One of the most important-and most neglected-elements in the beginning of the interior life is the ability to respond to reality, to see the value and the beauty in ordinary things, to come alive to the splendour that is all around us.
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-Thomas Merton
Relationships
Engrave this Quote The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.
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-Thomas Merton
Responsibility
Engrave this Quote In the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for finding himself. If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence.
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-Thomas Merton
Self-love
Engrave this Quote What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?
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-Thomas Merton, The Wisdom of the Desert, 1960
Service
Engrave this Quote To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is itself to succumb to the violence of our times. Frenzy destroys our inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
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-Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

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