January 31

Hundreth Anniversary of Birth of Thomas Merton

Reflection

Dear 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 I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that my desire to please you does in fact please you. I hope that I have that desire in everything that I do. 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 I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are always with me, and you will never leave me to face my troubles alone. Amen.
Thomas Merton

Prayer

Grant us to seek peace where it is truly found.
Thomas Merton

Action

Google Thomas Merton and review his life. Read one of his books like Seeds of Contemplation. Reflect on his meaning of and practice  of contemplation.

Suggested Reading

Just remaining quietly in the presence of God, listening to God, being attentive to God, requires a lot of courage and know-how.
Thomas Merton

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

Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.
Thomas Merton

By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.
Thomas Merton

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

Love seeks one thing only: the good of the one loved. It leaves all the other secondary effects to take care of themselves. Love, therefore, is its own reward.
Thomas Merton

Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.
Thomas Merton

When ambition ends, happiness begins.
Thomas Merton

Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it.
Thomas Merton

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 grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.
Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.
Thomas Merton

Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am. That I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself, and if I accept myself fully in the right way, I will already have surpassed myself.
Thomas Merton

Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.
Thomas Merton

Tags: