Do not, then, stir yourself up to useless interior activities. Avoid everything that will bring unnecessary complications into your life. Live in as much peace and quiet and retirement as you can, and do not go out of your way to get involved in labors and duties, no matter how much glory they may seem to give to God. Do the tasks appointed to you as perfectly as you can with disinterested love and great peace in order to show your desire of pleasing God. Love and serve Him peacefully and in all your works preserve recollection. Do what you do quietly and without fuss. Seek solitude as much as you can; dwell in the silence of your own soul and rest there in the simple and simplifying light which God is infusing into you. Do not make the mistake of aspiring to the spectacular “experiences” that you read about in the lives of great mystics. None of those graces (called gratis datae) can sanctify you nearly so well as this obscure and purifying light and love of God which is given you to no other end than to make you perfect in His love.

Thomas Merton
The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2003), p. 97.

To be here with the silence of Sonship in my heart is to be a center in which all things converge upon you. That is surely enough for the time being.
Therefore, Father, I beg you to keep me in this silence so that I may learn from it the word of your peace and the word of your mercy and the word of your gentleness to the world: and that through me perhaps your word of peace may make itself heard where it has not been possible for anyone to hear it for a long time.

Thomas Merton
Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (New York: Image Books, 1966), p. 176.

Since our inmost “I” is the perfect image of God, then when the “I” awakens, he finds within himself the Presence of Him Whose image he is. And, by a paradox beyond all human expression, God and the soul seem to have but one single “I.” They are (by divine grace) as though one single person. They breathe and live and act as one. “Neither” of the “two” is seen as object.

Thomas Merton
The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation (New York: Harper Collins, 2003), p. 18.

The saint knows that the world and everything made by God is good, while those who are not saints either think that created things are unholy, or else they don’t bother about the question one way or another because they are only interested in themselves.

The eyes of the saint make all beauty holy and the hands of the saint consecrate everything they touch to the glory of God, and the saint is never offended by anything and judges no man’s sin because he does not know sin. He knows the mercy of God. He knows that his own mission on earth is to bring that mercy to all.

Thomas Merton
New Seeds of Contemplation (New York: New Directions, 1961), pp. 24-5