Three Days of Thomas Merton – Day 3

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Day 3: A Few of Merton’s “Seeds”

Thomas Merton, the scholar and monk, was at his core a comtemplative- a deep thinker. He produced a massive quantity of written work in his 53 years. If there was a theme to his contribution it was most likely his efforts to communicate how to live a full and meaningful life through contemplation.  In other words, how to connect to God in a way that transforms a person from who they think they are into the person God created them to be. And no one embodies this personal transformation better than Merton himself.  Agnostic to Trappist monk, no one can deny he practiced what he preached. He shared his wisdom less to persuade his readers to believe his beliefs, and more to plant a seed in a person’s thoughts that require that person to tend to and water.  I love Merton because I believe he believed himself to be less the master gardener that the masses should listen to and learn from and more simply the sharer of his personal gardening experiences and gained wisdom for the purpose to motivate others to become their own master gardeners.  Here are a few of his seeds of contemplation…….

“Perhaps I am stronger than I think I am”

“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.”

“The BEGINNING of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not twist them to fit our own image.  Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves in them.”

“We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.”

“The least of learning is done in the classrooms.”

“If you want to study the social and political history of modern nations, study hell.”

“When ambition ends, happiness begins.”

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?  This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless but disastrous.”

“We have what we seek, it is there all the time, and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us.”

“The more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt.  The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the end, the one who suffers most.”

“Our IDEA of God tell us more about ourselves than about Him.”


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