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Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton Contemplative and Writer, 1915-1968

Thomas Merton pursued the ideals of pleasure and freedom in early adulthood only to reject them as an illusion and embrace a life of prayer and silence as a Trappist monk. His 1948 conversion story, The Seven Story Mountain, was a surprise bestseller, introducing millions of modern people to the gifts of monasticism. A mentor to many activists in the Catholic Peace movement, Merton became a prophetic voice for peace and nonviolence in the 20th century, even though his “political” writings were censored

by his order. Convinced that the contemplative life must engage the world, he prepared the way for a new monasticism.


Gracious God, you called your Monk Thomas Merton to proclaim your justice out of silence, and moved him in his contemplative writings to perceive and value Christ at work in the faith of others: Keep us, like him, steadfast in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN.

Scripture: John 12 :27-36

Go on your way while you have the light, so that darkness cannot overtake you. He who journeys in the dark does not know where he is going. While you have the light, trust in the light, so that you may become people of light.


As a monk Thomas Merton lived a life of silence as part of his vows. How could more silence in your life be helpful to you?

Quotes by Thomas Merton

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 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.

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