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Thomas Feverel Merton

Datum narození: 31. leden 1915
Datum úmrtí: 10. prosinec 1968

Thomas Merton byl jeden z nejvlivnějších katolických autorů 20. století, trapistický mnich v Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani v americkém státě Kentucky. Stal se uznávaným katolickým teologem, básníkem, spisovatelem a sociálním aktivistou. Napsal přes 50 knih a nespočetné množství esejí a kritik. Byl rovněž zastáncem ekumenismu, angažoval se v mezináboženském dialogu např. s tibetským dalajlámou, vietnamským zen-buddhistickým mnichem a mírovým aktivsitou Thich Nhat Hanhem či japonským filozofem D. T. Suzukim. Jeho životní dráha skončila předčasně v poměrně mladém věku, když byl nešťastnou náhodou zabit elektrickým proudem.


„Úsilí o svatost předpokládá ohleduplnost a velkodušnost v obyčejném životě.“

„Když utrpení položí otázku „kdo jsi?“, musíme být schopni odpovědět zřetelně a uvést své jméno. Tím myslím, že se musíme vyslovit z nejhlubšího nitra toho, co jsme, čím toužíme být a čím jsme se stali.“


„The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them“ No Man Is an Island

„The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image.“ The Way of Chuang Tzu

„Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.“ No Man Is an Island

„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.“ Thoughts in Solitude

„Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another.“ Love and Living

„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.“


„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 am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.“

„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.“

„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.“

„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.“ The Seven Storey Mountain


„Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers, hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed - but hate these things in yourself, not in another.“ New Seeds of Contemplation

„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.“

„If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.“ Thoughts in Solitude

„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.“

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