The son of artists, Trappist monk and writer Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was born in Prades, France. His best-selling autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain (1948) celebrated his austere life in the monastery and chronicled his search for spiritual connections to the rest of the world.
"There is in all visible things… a hidden wholeness," he observed.
The brilliant and passionate Merton converted to Catholicism in 1938, then entered the monastic community of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky. Calling the monastery "the four walls of my new freedom," he shared his positive insights with the world.
"Perhaps I am stronger than I think," he once said.
Merton wrote his spiritual vision in over 60 books that have been universally translated. He wrote about spirituality, love, and peace. He put words to the human path of prayer, meditation, and self actualization.
His poetry was inspired by James Joyce and touched upon diverse religious concepts. Tibetan and Zen Buddhism influenced many of Merton's observations.
"We have what we seek. It is there all the time, and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us," he said. His eloquent journals and spiritual writings continue to inspire as bright rays from up above.
His writing is an invitation to explore and listen.
More Thomas MERTON Quotations
You shine like the sun.