First Thoughts

Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O. (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968) was an Anglo-American Catholic writer and mystic.

Parker Palmer Dorothy Day Wendell Berry


To celebrate Thomas Merton's 100th, HarperOne has a great sale on some titles.
And if you missed it, here's my post on how to get started with reading
Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another. Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton's biographer celebrates unconventional Trappist's legacy on the centenary of his birth
I love Tnomas Merton's humble and comforting prayer which starts: 'My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going'
When Life was Full from The way of Chuang Tsu translation by Thomas Merton - In the age when life on earth...
This link has one of my favourite prayers in it. It's by the poet/monk Thomas Merton. I think it is beautiful & true.
Happy 100th Birthday to Thomas Merton. Born in Prades, France on January 31, 1915. The Last Day of the Waterbearer...
I'm often asked where one should start with Thomas Here's my answer --> htt…
Thomas Merton born 100 years ago on Saturday...more at
No Fast Food Lane for Soul: “Hurry ruins saints as well as artists.”  ~ Thomas Merton Real art cannot...
Great offers from Harper for Merton's 100th:
Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul. -Thomas Merton |
"Be convinced...we will never be anything but beginners (at prayer), all our life." (Thomas Merton, Trappist contemplative, 1915-68, USA)
"What do I need to do right now to tend the root of inner wisdom that makes work fruitful?" Parker Palmer on writings by Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton is among spiritual giants made more relatable because of his foibles, struggles, temptations, & doubts
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Catholic writer Thomas Merton: Holy and oh-so-human via &
Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. – Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton, a Trappist(ultra-silent) monk, said he sensed the real presence of God in his monastery AND on busiest intersection New York.
It's Year in Review time in America, and I want all my FB friends (who like this sort of thing) to tell me about their 2014 in books, television and movies so I can get ideas for 2015. Here are mine: BOOKS (fiction): The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (non-fiction): The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton. TELEVISION: " The Roosevelts" by Ken Burns, " Justified" on FX (but we stream from Netflix) " The Big Bang Theory" (streamed all 8 seasons!). MOVIES: "Gravity"( the only one we saw at a theater) John and I never see and rarely read anything when it first comes out because we are old, so we rely on our friends to help us out. We tried to watch "True Detective" last night because it got rave reviews in the Wall Street Journal, but after 15 minutes we were so depressed we turned it off and watched another rerun of Big Bang Theory to get the taste out of our mouths! Please help!!! DON'T STRESS ABOUT IT, JUST WHATEVER COMES TO YOUR MIND. THANK YOU AND Happy New Year!
I used to hear in early sobriety that if you had an idea after 10:00 pm, it was probably a bad idea. I think the same is true about any ideas you may have in the next few days. Everyone is very crazy. Some of us are better at covering this up than others. Some people will say how cheerful they feel and how much they love the holidays; but these are very angry people. Try not to be alone with them for any length of time. Three people I love have called this weekend with these intensely expressed decisions that they felt had to be made as soon as possible, at least by Monday. They are without exception highly intelligent and self-aware, really on to themselves, yet without exception, their ideas would have caused damage to their careers, marriages, children, serenity, and in one case, their dog. I listened, and said the great chemo-therapeutic words, "Me too." Then I made a subtle kind of hmmm sound, vaguely amused at how we comical we become under stress; delusional, and mad. The people all grew quiet ...
From an Advent Poem by Thomas Merton. Yet it is far from Christmas, when a star. Sang in the pane, as brittle as...
"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, the society in which they live becomes putrid, it festers with servility, resentment and hate." Thomas Merton
I am a Unitarian and i love Thomas Merton. Thank you for the post
I believe in the philosophy of Thomas Merton so we have a few trees.
⭐️ Thomas Merton, prayer before midnight mass at Christmas, 1941 ⭐️
Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real. - Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton is one of the best.Blended Eastern meditation with Christianity.
Peace demands the most heroic labour and the most difficult sacrifice. Thomas Merton
"If you find God with great ease, perhaps it is not God you have found." - Thomas Merton (via...
Excitedly reading Thomas Merton. "The integrity of the artist lifts a man above the level of the world without delivering him from it."
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First time I've needed footnotes for FB post. Oops and sorry! Google "famous Thomas Merton Prayer, will 1st. Same w/ "St. F…
The last couple of years I've been reading mostly Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Thomas Merton. Merton, I confess, is beyond me ..
Spending my morning/early afternoon with Thomas Merton and drinking tea.
Contemplation is the loving sense of this life, this presence and this eternity. - Thomas Merton
"There is in all visible things...a hidden wholeness.⁰"~ Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton and the Synergy of Christianity and .
Thomas Merton and the Synergy of Christianity and ...
What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? -- Thomas Merton
"The more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer." ~Thomas Merton
"A man who fails well is greater than one who succeeds badly.” . ― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
No, Internet Atheist Dude, you aren't smarter than CS Lewis, Gregor Mendel, Thomas Merton, or Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Sorry about that.
We have what we seek. It is there all the time, and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us. -Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton to Dorothy Day: 'I would never have become Catholic w/o the witness of the Catholic Worker'
How do you expect to arrive at the end of your own journey if you take the road to another man's city? — Thomas Merton
Great to see Mayor Greg Fischer (at Robert Ellsberg's lecture on Thomas Merton & Dorothy Day tonight
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'To some men peace merely means the liberty to exploit other people without fear of retaliation or interference. To others peace means the freedom to rob others without interruption. To still others it means the leisure to devour the goods of the earth without being compelled to interrupt their pleasures to feed upon those whom their greed is starving. And to practically everybody peace simply means the absence of any physical violence that might cast a shadow over lives devoted to the satisfaction of their animal appetites for comfort and pleasure.' ~ Thomas Merton
Discover more about Thomas Merton with Julia Keeling, a participant in Richard Rohr's "Living School" Sat 08 Nov 11-4
NEW Advent and Christmas with Thomas Merton by Thomas Merton Paperback Book - Full read by eBay: Price 0.99 USD (1…
Pray!. "You are in constant and immediate contact with the infinite power of God" -Thomas Merton
The quotable American Trappist and writer, Thomas Merton (1915–68), is one of the most influential spiritual...
The spiritual life is, then, first of all a matter of keeping awake. —Thomas Merton (On beginnings & keeping awake: http:/…
I agree with Thomas Merton that, perhaps surprisingly, developing contemplation, stability, and peace within is the greatest a…
"Humility is the surest sign of strength." -Thomas Merton. . This one really makes you think.
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. — Thomas Merton
Happened upon this amazing picture last night: Wendell Berry, Denise Levertov, and Thomas Merton.
“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"
"One thing occurs to me: how foolish it would be to base your whole life, to base important decisions, merely on a feeling of interior peace, or on a vague sense of oneness with God, considered as an experience. . . . That sense can be purely natural and aesthetic. As such it is probably not a genuine experimental knowledge of God, but only an experience of our own spirituality, a withdrawal from exterior things into our own selves, which enable us to taste the peace of our own spiritual nature. . . . It is important, therefore, not to seek any mere experience, and not to stop at the aesthetic sense of anything." Seek only God’s will—the Kingdom of God and His Justice—and peace and all the rest will be added to you." Thomas Merton, May 31, 1947. Ember Saturday entry, in Entering the Silence (The Merton Legacy Trust, 1996), pp.80-81.
"Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience." - Thomas Merton quotes from BrainyQuote.com
“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.” ~ Thomas Merton
check out Thomas Merton poem link Original Child bomb. 67th anniversary & this poem re Enola Gaye shd be on curricula
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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. Thomas Merton
"There is something in the very nature of my freedom that inclines me to love, to do good, to dedicate myself to others. I have an instinct that tells me that I am less free when I am living for myself alone." --THOMAS MERTON, "NO MAN IS AN ISLAND"
Secrecy and solitude are values that belong to the very essence of personality. -- Thomas Merton
"The very contradictions in my life are in some ways signs of God's mercy to me."" - Thomas Merton
This requires the direct intervention of GOD.”. (Thomas Merton)
If Thomas Merton could bridge east & west, surely can bridge KY & IN with messages of love & compassion http…
SImply Merton by Linus Mundy offers wisdom and insightful questions from Thomas Merton's journals. Stop by the...
"I am glad to be shocked by grace and to wake up in time to see the great seriousness of it" - Thomas Merton
The things that we love tell us what we are. - Thomas Merton
the Desert Fathers have alot 2 say on the psychology of golf. Read Thomas Merton Richard Rohr Henri Nouwen on the desert Fathers
“If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.”. ― Thomas Merton,
Thomas Merton's voice was clear and educated
"Gratitude... is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God."- Thomas Merton
"Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy." Thomas Merton
" It is only in discovering GOD that we come to discover our true selves.". -Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation-
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We must learn to respond not to this or that syllable, . but to the whole song. —Thomas Merton
"No writing on life can say anything that has not already been said better by the wind in the pine trees." - Thomas Merton
Every moment... event. of every person's life on earth. plants something in the soul. ~ Thomas Merton
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. ~ Thomas Merton
"Prayer is an expression of who we are...We are living incompleteness. We are a gap, an emptiness that calls for fulfillment." Thomas Merton
All Christian life is meant to be at the same time profoundly contemplative and rich in active work. Thomas Merton
Brennan Manning's “The Furious Longing of God” has been a very powerful and encouraging read.I love how he quotes very poignant passages from Christian mystics that is relevant to what he is writing about. Manning's book has also inspired me to write a new piece about how important and encouraging Native American Spirituality, and Christian mystics, like Thomas Merton, Brother Lawrence, St.Francis of Assisi, George MacDonald, and the Celtic Saint Brigid have been to me on my journey. I use to be so full of anxiety, which led to depression and unhealthy self loathing, but now, by Grace, I am calm in my spirit even in the busyness of life, and am able to rest in the Divine Presence of Christ, and be full of His Joy, Love and Shalom. And I love it! Just amazing. Thank you Abba Father!
"Pride is a stubborn insistence of being what we are not and never were intended to be. Pride is a deep, insatiable need for unreality, an exorbitant demand that others believe the lie we have made ourselves believe about ourselves." --THOMAS MERTON, "THE NEW MAN"
"Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and, beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity." - Thomas Merton quotes from BrainyQuote.com
Boy did I need to hear this... great wisdom "The scarcity model is the way we’re trained to think: “I am not enough. This is not enough. I do not have enough.” So we try to attain more and more, and climb higher and higher. Thomas Merton said we may spend our whole life climbing the ladder of success, only to discover that when we get to the top our ladder is leaning against the wrong wall. “To pray and actually mean ‘thy Kingdom come,’ we must also be able to say ‘my kingdoms go.’
Taken from "Whispered Words of Encouragement": "That is God's call to us - - simply to be people who are content to live close to Him and to renew the kind of life in which the closeness is felt and experienced." Thomas Merton
"Solitude is a way to defend the spirit against the murderous din of our materialism." - Thomas Merton (via...
BOOK REVIEW: Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton via Reaching Hurting Women - * Thoughts in ...
“If a man does not know the value of his own loneliness, how can he respect another’s solitude?” . — Thomas Merton, “No Man Is An Island”
The horror of atrocities by Israel exceeds our capacity to render the events through language says Catholic thinker & poet, Thomas Merton
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The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton: A New Look at the Spiritual Inspiration of His Li...
God has willed that we should all depend on one another for our salvation, and all strive together for our own mutual good. --Thomas Merton
We enter into possession of God when He (She) invades all our faculties with His (Her) light and His (Her) infinite fire. . - Thomas Merton
Pride makes us artificial, humility makes us real. ~ Thomas Merton
If you do not know your own identity, who is going to identify you?. ~ Thomas Merton
The only unhappiness is not to love God. . — Thomas Merton
On page 63 of 80 of On Christian Contemplation, by Thomas Merton
Without contemplation, the church will be seduced by its own power, and when successful, will idolize its own influence. (Th…
I love Thomas Merton. I think I must re-read him. I think I also need to remember God is ultimate source of compassion - not me!
"Anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity."--Thomas Merton
“Compassion is the keen awareness of. the interdependence of all things.” Thomas Merton
"It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death." ~Thomas Merton
"Perhaps I am stronger than I think." - Thomas Merton
When human society fulfills its true function the persons who form it grow in their individual freedom and personal integrity.-Thomas Merton
Silence on fire. Quote taken from In Silence, by Thomas Merton.
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“A man knows when he has found his vocation. when he stops thinking about how to live. and begins to live.”. Thomas Mert…
5.of his and his very and is his greatest |Thomas The Seven Storey
The influence of Thomas Merton and Taoist monks and Parker Palmer.
One cannot be a Christian today without having a deeply afflicted conscience. . Thomas Merton
"Christian hope begins where every other hope stands frozen stiff in the face of the unspeakable." - Thomas Merton
I have just finished an article called "Blessed are the Meek", on Christian non-violence, by Thomas Merton. Boy, do I have a long way to go😳
"The Christian must be dedicated to the total abolition of war and violence." Thomas Merton-"Pilgrims and Prophets of Peace"
Several years ago it dawned on me that most all of my spiritual heroes are unabashedly ecumenical: Father Henri Nouwen, Brother Roger of Taize, Sister Joan Chittister, Father Richard Rohr, Thomas Merton, Parker Palmer, Wendell Berry. If you read their writings, you'll find themes of radical...
Here's some friendship related quotes inspired by a good night out with friends! "The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship." - Ralph Waldo Emerson "When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares." -Henri J.M. Nouwen "Well, it seems to me that the best relationships - the ones that last - are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship ...
This is one of my favorite quotes from the Christian contemplative, Thomas Merton. Enjoy your own time of...
"I believe the reason for the inner confusion of Western man is that our technological society has no longer any place in it for wisdom that seeks truth for its own sake, that seeks fullness of being, that seeks to rest in an intuition of the very ground of all being." --THOMAS MERTON, "FAITH AND VIOLENCE"
Sometimes, it is not music you crave,or it is not music that you need, but the silence of your soul/solo/sole self,and the words, thoughts, ideas that will bubble, flow out of such tranquility, that will emerge from that depth, core, root of being... I believe, it was Thomas Merton, who coined the term/thought... 'the ground of being[ness]' and to listen to/othe gentle melodies of nature's sigh singing softly in the back/foreground all surround sound...
Be still. Listen to the stones of the wall. Be silent, they try. To speak your Name. be The unthinkable one . -Thomas Merton
"The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little."" - Thomas Merton
"The world is the unquiet city of those who live for themselves and are therefore divided against one another in a struggle that cannot end, for it will go on eternally in *** it is the city of those who are fighting for possession of limited things and for the monopoly of goods and pleasures that cannot be shared by all." --- Thomas Merton
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Take more time, cover less ground. - Thomas Merton
"The true contemplative is one who has discovered the art of finding leisure even in the midst of his work, by working with such a spirit of detachment and recollection that even his work is a prayer". ~Thomas Merton
Besides being no one, . know that I am you . and everybody. Thomas Merton, “Le Secret”. from The Collected Poems of Thomas Merton. (via l...
“One of the tests of a true contemplative is his simplicity.” Thomas Merton
“While Christians emphasize Prayer of the Heart, Buddhists speak about one-pointed mind (cittasekagata). Christians and Buddhists both realize that without concentration, without abandoning distracting thoughts, prayer and meditation will not bear fruit. Concentration and devotion bring calm, peace, stability, and comfort to both Buddhists and Christians. If farmers use farming tools to cultivate their land, practitioners use prayer and meditation to cultivate their consciousness. The fruits and flowers of the practice spring forth from the soil of the mind. Buddhists and Christians know that nirvana, or the Kingdom of God, is within their hearts. The Gospels speak of the Kingdom of God as a mustard seed planted in the soil of consciousness. Buddhist sutras speak of Buddha nature as the seed of enlightenment that is already in everyone’s consciousness. The practices of prayer and meditation help us touch the most valuable seeds that are within us, and they put us in contact with the ground of our bein ...
Good Morning! Happy Saturday and Happy Summer and Happy Birthday to Michele! One of the most important--and most neglected elements in the beginnings 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 splendor that is all around us in the creatures of God. Thomas Merton
Almighty and merciful God, Father of all, Creator and Ruler of the Universe, Lord of History, whose designs are inscrutable, whose glory is without blemish, whose compassion for the errors of men is inexhaustible, in your will is our peace. Help us to be masters of the weapons that threaten to master us. Help us to use our science for peace and plenty, not for war and destruction. Show us how to use atomic power to bless our children's children, not to blight them. Grant us to seek peace where it is truly found! In your will, O God, is our peace! Thomas Merton
Let us livein this love of happiness, you and I and all of us, in the love of Christ and in contemplation, for this is where we find ourselves and one another as we truly are. It is only in this love that we at last become real. For it is here that we most truly share the life of One God in Three Persons. Thomas Merton
Today’s spiritual thought: "Do not be too quick to condemn the man who no longer believes in God: for it is perhaps your own coldness and avarice and mediocrity and materialism and selfishness that have chilled his faith." - Thomas Merton, as quoted in “Ascend”
Keep your eyes clean and your ears quiet and your mind serene. Breathe God's air. Work, if you can, under His sky. But if you have to live in a city and work among machines and ride in the subways and eat in a place where the radio makes you deaf with spurious news and where food destroys your life and the sentiments of those around you poison your heart wih boredom, do not be impatient,but accept it as the love of God and as a seed of solitude planted in your soul. If you are appauled by those things, you will keep your appetite for the healing silence of recollection. But meanwhile- leep your sense of compassion for the men who have forgottenthe very concept of solitude. You, at least know that it exists, and that it is the source of peace and joy. You can still hope for such joy . They do not even hope for it any more. Thomas Merton
"We must be content to live without watching ourselves live, to work without expecting an immediate reward, to love without an instantaneous satisfaction, and to exist without any special recognition. It is only when we are detached from ourselves that we can be at peace with ourselves." --THOMAS MERTON, "NO MAN IS AN ISLAND"
Eudes has written a book on Merton, "Thomas Merton: Prophet of Renewal"
The question of love is one that can not be evaded. Whether or not you claim to be interested in it, from the moment you are alive you are bound to be concerned with love, because love is not just something that happens to you. It is a certain special way of being alive. Love is, in fact, an intensification of life, a completeness, a fullness, a wholeness of life. -Thomas Merton
Life is this simple.. We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the divine is shining through it all the time. This is not just a nice story or a fable, it is true... ~Thomas Merton
We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. ~ Thomas Merton
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Falling into the Rhythm of Life Life Lessons Straight from the Horse’s Mouth “It's not how far you fall, but how high you bounce that counts.” ~ Zig Ziglar Did you ever make one decision that would change your life forever? I did. It was on July 11, 2008. I was performing for parents of children who had attended my horseback riding camp, and I made the decision to pay more attention to the crowd than to Malachi, my horse. This is the story of my fall, what I’ve learned through my recovery, and the unwavering strength I have gained from the “great fall” that has made me so “grate-full.” There is one moment in time I will never forget. Falling through the air, I felt light, weightless, and suspended in time. My head slammed off the ground, and the force from the bounce after the first hit sent my body upright. My head, back and hips slammed against the cement-like ground over and over. Every strike was incredibly powerful, and it was as if a lightning bolt sent shocks through my body and roa ...
New book by former Provost of Chelmsford John Moses on Thomas Merton. On order for sale at Bookstall. £20.
The fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the wind, and join in the general Dance. -Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton on why so many modern Westerners are miserable: “[T]he more you try to avoid suffering, the more...
"We must slow down to a human tempo and we'll begin to have time to listen." - Thomas Merton
One day I will meet & she will give me music recs, & we will talk about Thomas Merton, Tim Burton, Wall-E, & magic.
Thought For the Day: “It is by the Holy Spirit that we love those who are united to us in Christ. The more plentifully we have received of the Spirit of Christ, the more perfectly we are able to love them: and the more we love them the more we receive the Spirit. It is clear, however, that since we love them by the Spirit Who is given to us by Jesus, it is Jesus Himself Who loves them in us.” ― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
“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.” Thomas Merton.
We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are. Thomas Merton Giving up doesn't always mean you are weak … sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go. Promises mean everything, but after they are broken, sorry means nothing. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. - The Serenity Prayer (Reinhold Niebuhr)
The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. ~Thomas Merton
A saint is not someone who is good, but one who has experienced the goodness of God."~Thomas Merton
GOAL SETTING TO CONTROL LIFE Aim, target, plan, purpose, and ambition are a few words that are used synonymously with the dominant word, “goal”. Having a goal ergo means having an aim to realise, a target to hit, a plan to work towards, a purpose to accomplish and an ambition to strive for. An analysis of average men depicts lives with no specific goals in place. It is only a few among us who have a goal for themselves and spend the days of their lives towards achieving that goal. Further analysis also point to the fact that only such people end up having lived a fulfilling and contented life. For, goals become instrumental in shaping our day to day activities. They define the best use of our time. They fill our hours with a purpose and instil in us that sense of direction that is required to get any substantial returns out of life. Starting out on a journey with no particular destination to arrive at is an analogy for a life with no goals in place. Modern world, with technology at the finger tips, ac ...
"What is meant by a 'True Man'? The true men of old were not afraid When they stood alone in their views. No great exploits. No plans. If they failed, no sorrow. No self-congratulation in success. They scaled cliffs, never dizzy, Plunged in water, never wet, Walked through fire and were not burnt. Thus their knowledge reached all the way To Tao. The true men of old Slept without dreams, Woke without worries. Their food was plain. They breathed deep. True men breathe from their heels. Others breathe with their gullets, Half-strangled. In dispute They heave up arguments Like vomit. Where the fountains of passion Lie deep The heavenly springs Are soon dry. The true men of old Knew no lust for life, No dread of death. Their entrance was without gladness, Their exit, yonder, Without resistance. Easy come, easy go. They did not forget where from, Nor ask where to, Nor drive grimly forward Fighting their way through life. They took life as it came, gladly; Took death as it came, without care; And went away, yond ...
From Mouni Sadhu ‘s Letter to Thomas Merton: ‘When my recent work - "Theurgy" appeared, Osborne & Co. published ', the enclosed review, untruthful in every sentence and Osborne delcared my quotations from Maharshi to be erroneous, quotations which he knows are in the literal form given in Maharshi's teachings. He even used the same quotation on p. 104 of his own compilation - "Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge" which book, incidentally, is simply a deformed an untruthful version of the original basic book by Narasimha Swamy -" Life and Teachings of Ramana Maharshi". In his book Osborne 'edits' the sayings of the Master as he likes, in order to obtain quite a different sense from the original meaning.’ From Arthur Osborne’s Review of ‘Theurgy’ in the ‘Mountain Path’ Journal : ‘ The writer who calls himself "Mouni Sadhu" paid a brief visit to this Ashram and makes a point of referring to the Maharshi in his books and giving alleged quotations from him. Readers should be warned ...
The imagination should be allowed a certain amount of time to browse around. - Thomas Merton
It was a lucky wind. That blew away his halo with his cares,. A lucky sea that drowned his reputation. ~ Thomas Merton
A conversation overheard made me redouble my effort to apply Thomas Merton's advice:
Nightcap, buying this book. "Surrender your own poverty and acknowledge your nothingness to the Lord. Whether you understand it or not, God loves you, is present in you, lives in you, dwells in you, calls you, saves you and offers you an understanding and compassion which are like nothing you have ever found in a book or heard in a sermon." The Hidden Ground Of Love: The Letters Of Thomas Merton On Religious Experience And Social Concerns
"There can be an intense egoism in following everybody else. People are in a hurry to magnify themselves by imitating what is popular--and too lazy to think of anything better. Hurry ruins saints as well as artists. They want quick success, and they are in such a haste to get it that they cannot take time to be true to themselves. And when the madness is upon them, they argue that their very haste is a species of integrity." - Thomas Merton, 20th century mystic
If you find yourself adrift in the greater garden district of Lexington, Kentucky, might I humbly suggest the opening reception for Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Photographing Thomas Merton. Henry Detweiler might even be willing to sell you a copy of the fancy Institute 193 "Volume One" hardcover that's got me and a few other untamed artistes in its pages. Was it just last weekend Harry Dean Stanton was walking around town? Lexington, yer killing it.
Preaching God implies silence. If preaching is not born of silence, it is a waste of time. Writing & teaching must be fed by silence or they are a waste of time. - Thomas Merton
I'm in the midst of a theological debate/conversation on Reddit that reminded me of a favorite quote that I was first exposed to in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, so I thought I'd share the quote. "Despair is the ultimate development of a pride so great and so stiff-necked that it selects the absolute misery of a damnation rather than accept happiness from the hands of God and thereby acknowledge that He is above us and that we are not capable of fulfilling our destiny ourselves." - Fr. Thomas Merton (via Sister Glenna - twice)
"You are not big enough to accuse the whole age effectively, but let us say you are in dissent. You are in no position to issue commands, but you can speak words of hope. Shall this be the substance of your message? Be human in this most inhuman of ages; guard the image of man for it is the image of God." ~Thomas Merton
"We look for rest and if we find it, it becomes intolerable. Incapable of the divine activity which alone can satisfy [rest]...fallen man flings himself upon exterior things, not so much for their own sake as for the sake of agitation which keeps his spirit pleasantly numb...[The distraction] diverts us aside from the one thing that can help us to begin our ascent to truth...the sense of our own emptiness." (Thomas Merton) ~ How often do you/we engage in actions that distract us and numb us to our own emptiness? How much of our outward activity is an escape from facing up to what is going on inside of us?
How's your soul today? Try surrendering your circumstances to the Lord as your soul melts in the care of Christ and "Stay soft my friends"! Souls are like wax waiting for a seal. By themselves they have no special identity. Their identity is to be softened and prepared in this life, by God's will, to receive at their death, the seal of their own degree of likeness to God in Christ. And this is what it means, among other things, to be judged by Christ. The wax that has melted in God's will can easily receive the stamp of its identity, the truth of what it was meant to be. But the wax that is hard and dry and brittle and without love will not take the seal, for the hard seal sending upon it, grinds it to powder. Therefore if you spend your life trying to escape from the heat of the fire that is meant to soften and prepare you to become your true self, and if you try to keep your substance from melting in the fire as if your true identity were to be hard wax, the seal will fall upon you at last and crush you ...
Off to another inspiring day at the Thomas Merton Conference
25 Books Every Christian Should Read 1. On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius 2. Confessions by St. Augustine 3. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers 4. The Rule of St. Benedict by St. Benedict 5. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri 6. The Cloud of Unknowing by Anonymous 7. Revelations of Divine Love (Showings) by Julian of Norwich 8. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis 9. The Philokalia 10. Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin 11. The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila 12. Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross 13. Pensées by Blaise Pascal 14. The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan 15. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence 16. A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life by William Law (download this chapter from 25 Books) 17. The Way of a Pilgrim by Unknown Author 18. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky 19. Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton 20. The Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins 21. The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer 2 ...
"If you see a young monk by his own will climbing up into heaven, take him by the foot and throw him to the ground, because what he is doing is not good for him." ~ Thomas Merton
“To be unknown to God is entirely too much privacy.” . ― Thomas Merton
At the end of his trial for crimes against humanity, Adolf Eichmann, Hitler's man in charge of the 'Final Solution', was judged sane, found guilty, and sentenced to death. The monk Thomas Merton wrote that if Eichmann was sane, then he, Merton, must be insane. What is sanity in term of faith and spirituality? Frederick Buechner wrote: "If the world is sane, then Jesus is mad as a hatter and the Last Supper is the Mad Tea Party. The world says, 'Mind your own business', and Jesus says, 'There is no such thing as your own business'. The world says, 'Follow the wisest course and be a success', and Jesus says, 'Follow me and be crucified'. "The world says, 'Drive carefully -- the life you save may be your own', and Jesus says, 'Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it'. The world says, 'Law and order', and Jesus says, 'Love'. "The world says, 'Get', and Jesus says, 'Give'. "In terms of the world's sanity, Jesus is crazy as a coot; and anybody who thinks he ...
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Henry Corbin came at me from so many directions. As a contemplative, he just came up everywhere. Thomas Merton initially led me to him. I had drifted out of the Shunryu Suzuki Zen scene of the 60s and 70s and back toward a grounding in contemplative prayer from the Catholicism of my childhood. St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross were and are constant companions. But Corbin's name kept coming up. But after a powerful encounter in Berkeley in 1987 I found him from another direction. It was back in the late eighties, the Winter of '87. I was working as a teacher at Berkeley High, and was very burned out and running on empty (as Jackson Browne would say), having recently taken a gun from a student, and I was pondering whether I even wanted to be a teacher anymore. It was a late Winter afternoon, red sun setting in a welter of clouds over the Golden Gate. I'd been buying my dinner groceries at the Berkeley Cheese Board and at a little chicken shop there, and vegetables at that great produce market on t ...
There is a certain innocence in not having a solution. -- Thomas Merton
Am I the only one that finds it mildly ironic that Thomas Merton Square, named for the famed spiritualist monk, is the site of 4th Street Live?
Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him. Thomas Merton
The Thomas Merton Society Discussion Group meets May 10, 2014 at 2:00pm at St Anselm's Abbey. We are reading pages 142-190 in The Asian Journal. All are welcome to join us. We will also talk about the Spring Lecture held last month. We had a good audience, and Abbot James gave us an both overview of Buddhism and his insights on Merton and Buddhism. Questions or directions tmsociety
Thursday's Poem - Cutting Up an Ox by Zhuangzi (translated by Thomas Merton) Prince Wen Hui's cook Was cutting up an ox. Out went a hand, Down went a shoulder, He planted a foot, He pressed with a knee The ox fell apart With a whisper, The bright cleaver murmured Like a gentle wind. Rhythm! Timing! Like a sacred dance, Like "The Mulberry Grove" Like ancient harmonies! "Good work!" the Prince exclaimed, "Your method is faultless!" "Method?" said the cook Laying aside his cleaver, "What I follow is Tao Beyond all methods! "When I first began To cut up oxen I would see before me The whole ox All in one mass. "After three years I no longer saw this mass. I saw the distinctions. "But now, I see nothing With the eye. My whole being Apprehends. My senses are idle. The spirit Free to work without plan Follows its own instinct Guided by natural line, By the secret opening, The hidden space, My cleaver finds its own way. I cut through no joint, chop no bone. "A great cook needs a new chopper Once a year - he cuts. ...
The Scriptures are one of the Church's greatest sacramentals. — Thomas Merton
If you want to have a spiritual life you must unify your life. A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all. ~ Thomas Merton.
“Reason is in fact the path to faith, and faith takes over when reason can say no more.” . ― Thomas Merton
Tribeca London films consider making a movie on best selling author and American Trappist Monk, Thomas Merton.
Your life is shaped by the end you live for. ―Fr Thomas Merton
"It’s a risky thing to pray, and the danger is that our very prayers get between God and us. The great thing in prayer is not to pray, but to go directly to God. If saying your prayers is an obstacle to prayer, cut it out. The best way to pray is: stop. Let prayer pray within you, whether you know it or not. This means a deep awareness of our true inner identity. It implies a life of faith, but also of doubt. You can’t have faith without doubt. Give up the business of suppressing doubt. Doubt and faith are two sides of the same thing. Faith will grow out of doubt, the real doubt. We don’t pray right because we evade doubt." --Thomas Merton
"There is not a flower that opens, not a seed that falls into the ground, and not an ear of wheat that nods on the end of its stalk in the wind that does not preach and proclaim the greatness and the mercy of God to the whole world." Thomas Merton
supports the naming of the downtown Louisville Bridge the Thomas Merton Peace Bridge
"All men who live only according to their five senses, and seek nothing beyond the gratification of their natural appetites for pleasure and reputation and power, cut themselves off from that charity which is the principle of all spiritual vitality and happiness because it alone saves us from the barren wilderness of our own abominable selfishness"--Thomas Merton Not to mention this gratification leads to environmental decimation.
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"First we practice sin, then defend it, then boast of it" (Thomas Merton). It would be better to first repent of sin, turn our backs on it, and never go back to it.
*** Sisto Quartet performs music from Soul Searching: The Journey of Thomas Merton, May 18 at 7, Clifton Center:
"Who am I? My deepest realization of who I am is that I am one loved by Christ.". (Thomas Merton)
God's Gifts To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us~and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a gift of grace. ~Thomas Merton
Our Christian destiny is a great one: but we cannot achieve greatness unless we lose all interest in being great. -- Thomas Merton
If you want to study the social and political history of modern nations, study *** Thomas Merton
“The ever-changing reality in the midst of which we live should awaken us to the possibility of an uninterrupted dialogue with God. By this I do not mean continuous “talk,” or a frivolously conversational form of affective prayer which is sometimes cultivated in convents, but a dialogue of love and of choice. A dialogue of deep wills.” ― Thomas Merton
Do not depend on the hope of results. Thomas Merton, full quote:
Our being is silent, but our existence is noisy. Thomas Merton
Thomas Drake on how blowing the whistle is even harder now.
"Meditation is one of the ways in which the spiritual person keep themselves awake." . ~ Thomas Merton
Today musing : "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". 'Secara individu seseorang bertanggung jawab dalam menjalani hidupnya sendiri dan 'menemukan dirinya. "Jika ia tetap menngubah tanggung jawabnya kepada orang lain, ia gagal untuk mengetahui makna keberadaannya sendiri'. ~ Thomas Merton ~
“The only way to make a man worthy of love is by loving him.” - Thomas Merton
"There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fountain of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me from unseen roots of all created being." - Thomas Merton
“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 seem trivial by comparison.” - Thomas Merton
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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. 'Thomas Merton'
"There is a sign of God on every leaf that nobody sees in the garden. The fruit trees are there on purpose, even when no one is looking." - Thomas Merton
"Human Nature has a way of making very specious arguments to suit its own cowardice and lack of generosity." --- from The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton
A selfish love withers and dies unless it is sustained by the attention of the beloved. When we love thus, our friends exist only in order that we may love them. In loving them we seek to make pets of them, to keep them tame. Such love fears. Nothing more than the escape of the beloved. No Man is an Island by Thomas Merton
Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in the eyes of the Divine. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed. … I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other. —Thomas Merton
We cannot be happy if we expect to live all the time at the highest peak of intensity. Thomas Merton
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! ~Thomas Merton
Following YUM Brands recent social media campaign to name the new downtown bridge between Louisville and Southern Indiana for KFC founder Col. Harland Sanders, Bellarmine University is promoting the idea that it be named for Trappist monk and author Thomas Merton.
“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.” ― Thomas Merton
~A Person Whom Follows the Tao (Way): The man [or woman] in whom Tao Acts without impediment Does not bother with his own interests And does not despise others who do. He does not struggle to make money And does not make a virtue of poverty. He goes his way without relying on others And does not pride himself on walking alone. While he does not follow the crowd He won't complain of those who do. Rank and reward make no appeal to him; Disgrace and shame do not deter him. He is not always looking for right and wrong Always deciding "Yes" or "No." -Thomas Merton "The Way of Chuang Tzu"
"If we love God and love others in Him, we will be glad to let suffering destroy anything in us that God is pleased to let it destroy, because we know that all it destroys is unimportant. We will prefer to let the accidental trash of life be consumed by suffering in order that His glory may come out clean in everything we do." --Thomas Merton
Not all of us are called to be hermits, but all of us need enough silence and solitude in our lives to enable the deeper voice of our own self to be heard at least occasionally. -- Thomas Merton
Our job is to LOVE others without stopping to inquire if they are worthy. Thomas Merton
The 2014 Thomas Merton Center's New Persons Award will honor Shirley Gleditsch and the East End Community Thrift Store family of volunteers. This award recognizes a local group dedicated to creating a more peaceful and just world.
Thomas Merton says the most pervasive form of violence in the modern world is busyness … not drugs, not guns, but busyness. From conversations journal on the sabbath
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'One might compare the journey of the soul to mystical union, by way of pure faith, to the journey of a car on a dark highway. The only way the driver can keep to the road is by using his headlights. So in the mystical life, reason has its function'. Thomas Merton.
“'Violence is not completely fatal until it ceases to disturb us.' Thomas Merton, Thoughts in solitude"
We don’t teach meditation to the young monks. They are not ready for it until they stop slamming doors. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh to Thomas Merton in 1966
“It is almost impossible to overestimate the value of true humility and its power in the spiritual life. For the beginning of humility is the beginning of blessedness and the consummation of humility is the perfection of all joy. Humility contains in itself the answer to all the great problems of the life of the soul. It is the only key to faith, with which the spiritual life begins: for faith and humility are inseparable. In perfect humility all selfishness disappears and your soul no longer lives for itself or in itself for God: and it is lost and submerged in Him and transformed into Him.” - from “New Seeds of Contemplation” - Thomas Merton
Be good, keep your feet dry, your eyes open, your heart at peace and your soul in the joy of Christ. ~ Thomas Merton
I can't even go there! Seeing Cardinal Sean in the desert I thought he was auditioning for a film about Thomas Merton!
"The purpose of Lent is not only expiation, to satisfy the divine justice, but above all a preparation to rejoice in His love. And this preparation consists in receiving the gift of His mercy–a gift which we receive insofar as we open our hearts to it, casting out what cannot remain in the same room with mercy. Now one of the things we must cast out first of all is fear. Fear narrows the little entrance to our heart. It shrinks up our capacity to love. It freezes up our power to give ourselves. If we were terrified of God as an inexorable judge, we would not confidently await His mercy, or approach Him trustfully in prayer. Our peace and our joy in Lent are a guarantee of grace." Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O. (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968), Trappist Monk, Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani
Very excited about upcoming continuing education at Mepkin Abbey for contemplative lectures on April 2. - Lecture 1: "Dreamwork" as a path for spiritual guidance, as illustrated from St. Jerome, St. Theresa of Lisieux, Dag Hammerskjold, Thomas Merton, Carl Jung and Victor Frankl - Lecture 2: Meister Eckhart in historical context from medieval period, Hildegard of Bingen, Dante, Thomas Aquinas and Jalai ad-Din Rumi. Eckhart in contemporary context: transpersonal psychology, contemplative Christianity, and the transcendental unity
My latest Pastor's Corner article: Great Justice Starts in the Hearts of a Few (thinking through Thomas Merton)
Daily Riches: Attending to God in Prayer -- Thomas Merton and John Higgins
"I walk from region to region of my soul and I discover that I am a bombed city" - Thomas Merton
The Ego Self Wednesday, March 12, 2014 It was Thomas Merton, the Cistercian monk, who first suggested the use of the term False Self. He did this to clarify for many Christians the meaning of Jesus’ central and oft-repeated teaching that we must die to ourselves, or “lose ourselves to find ourselves” (Mark 8:35). What is the self that must die and what is the self that should live must be clarified, or we invariably aim at the wrong target. This quote has caused much havoc and pushback in Christian history because it sounds negative and ascetical, and it was usually interpreted as an appeal to punish, deny, or reject the material world and physical self. But its total intent is personal liberation, not self-punishment. Centuries of Christians falsely assumed that if they could “die” to their body, their spirit would, for some reason, miraculously arise. I assure you, this is a waste of time. And in fact, Jesus is criticized precisely because he was not ascetical (Luke 5:33), exactly as the Buddh ...
In your status, list ten books that have stayed with you, not necessarily great books, but books that resonated, then tag ten friends. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (Thomas Merton); Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (Annie Dillard); The Brothers K (David James Duncan); Nobody's Fool (Richard Russo); The Autobiography of Malcolm X; The Grapes of Wrath; Under the Volcano; The Man who Fell in Love with the Moon (Thomas Spanbauer).
"If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I think I am living for...in detail. Ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for. Between these two answers you can determine the identity of any person." -Thomas Merton
"There remains always the hope that man will finally, after many mistakes and even disasters, learn to disarm and to make peace, recognizing that he must live at peace with his brother." --THOMAS MERTON
Thomas Merton on religion, the "opium of the masses," and nationalism: "Of course it is true that religion on a superficial level, religion that is untrue to itself and to God, easily comes to serve as the “opium of the people.” And this takes place whenever religion and prayer invoke the name of God for reasons and ends that have nothing to do with him. When religion becomes a mere artificial facade to justify a social or economic system—when religion hands over its rites and language completely to the political propagandist, and when prayer becomes the vehicle for a purely secular ideological program, then religion does tend to become an opiate. It deadens the spirit. . . This brings about the alienation of the believer so that his religious zeal becomes political fanaticism. His faith in God, while preserving its traditional formulas, becomes in fact faith in his own nation, class or race. His ethic ceases to be the law of God and of love, and becomes the law that might-makes-right: established p ...
Preetamdas Kirtana quotes from Thomas Merton: "Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because he cannot be at home in it, because he is out of place in it, and yet he must be in it, his place is with those others for whom there is no room. His place is with those who do not belong, who are rejected by power because they are regarded as weak, those who are discredited, who are denied the status of persons, tortured, excommunicated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in this world." Thomas Merton (from Raids on the Unspeakable)
"If we are going to love others at all, we must make up our minds to love them well. Otherwise our love is a delusion." --THOMAS MERTON, "NO MAN IS AN ISLAND"
The use of the word "God" in the missionary Thomas Merton's "The Way of Chuang Tzu" is a horribly misleading and...
I'm meeting an old high school buddy today who will hand over his entire Thomas Merton collection to me. Sweet.
One Day At A Time In Al-Anon ~ February 27 Eventually, if I listen attentively enough at meetings, and read my Al-anon literature with real concentration, I will absorb the new point of view I need. When I ask: "Why does he drink when he knows it damages him and his family?" I really mean: "How can he *justify* what he is doing?", implying a condemnation I have no right to make. Al-anon teaches me that the drinker knows no more about his compulsion than I do. I know he suffers from it, too. I will not waste time and energy trying to "figure out the alcoholic." I will concentrate on figuring out why I do what I do. Today's Reminder: Trying to analyze why another person persists in destructive behavior cannot help me out of my own difficulties. I can overcome them only by turning my thoughts inward, to face my own mistakes and to learn to improve myself. The alcoholic is not my problem. My problem is *me*. "Although all men have a common destiny, each individual also has to work out his personal salvation f ...
[via Abba Anthony Curley] "It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say." -Thomas Merton
practice for Friday, February 28: the Eye of Wisdom “There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.” -Thomas Merton Today’s practice focuses on opening the “Third Eye” or the Eye of Wisdom. The space… [ 332 more words. ]
To consider persons, events & situations only in the light of their effect upon myself is to live on the doorstep of *** | Thomas Merton
SNOW SPECIAL!* In honor of today's snowfall and to cheer you up on this late February day, I'm taking a chunk off the price of either of my online Lenten retreats ($110 instead of $150) if you register before 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, Feb. 28, *in whatever time zone you are* (the time stamp on your registration e-mail will tell me). THOMAS MERTON, COMPANION ON THE WAY or DESERT JOURNEY, DAILY BREAD: FOOD AND FASTING IN LENT: Which would you prefer? Both retreats begin on Ash Wednesday, March 5. The blog post here has links to full descriptions of both retreats and registration information. * Last year called the Snowstorm Special, but this isn't really a storm, just a little dusting.
Love is our destiny. We don't find the meaning of life alone. We find it with another - thomas merton..
Our thoughts are quieter than rivers, Our loves are simpler than the trees, Our prayers deeper than the sea." ~Thomas Merton
"We discover our true selves in love.” . ― Thomas Merton
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