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Published in book form for the first time, Thomas Merton's
The New Man shows Thomas Merton at the height of his powers and has as its theme the question of spiritual identity. What must we do to recover possession of our true selves? By way of an answer, Merton discusses how we have become strangers to ourselves by our depence on outward identity and success, while our real need is for a concern with the image of God in ourselves. At a time of retrieval of our religious traditions, Merton's voice is both intelligent and spiritually compelling.Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk, is perhaps the foremost spiritual thinker of the twentiethcentury. His diaries, social commentary, and spiritual writings continue to be widely read after his untimely death in 1968.
The complete and unedited edition of Thomas Merton's famous autobiography, one of the greatest works of spiritual pilgrimage ever written. 'The Seven Storey Mountain is a book one reads with a pencil so as to make it one's own.' Graham Greene 'A remarkable book, a classic of its kind, written in a vivid, rich and alert style which ranges from crisp vernacular to passionate eloquence, full of picturesque incident and passing at times into religious ecstasy.' The Times Literary Supplement 'A book which may well prove to be of permanent interest in the history of religious experience.' Evelyn Waugh
A modern-day Confessions of Saint Augustine, The Seven Storey
Mountain is one of the most influential religious works of the
twentieth century. This edition contains an introduction by
Merton's editor, Robert Giroux, and a note to the reader by
biographer William H. Shannon. It tells of the growing restlessness
of a brilliant and passionate young man whose search for peace and
faith leads him, at the age of twenty-six, to take vows in one of
the most demanding Catholic orders--the Trappist monks. At the
Abbey of Gethsemani, "the four walls of my new freedom," Thomas
Merton struggles to withdraw from the world, but only after he has
fully immersed himself in it. The Seven Storey Mountain has been a
favorite of readers ranging from Graham Greene to Claire Booth
Luce, Eldridge Cleaver, and Frank McCourt. And, in the half-century
since its original publication, this timeless spiritual tome has
been published in over twenty languages and has touched millions of
Thomas Merton's classic study of monastic prayer and contemplation brings a tradition of spirituality alive for the present day. But, as A. M. Allchin points out in his Introduction to this new edition, Contemplative Prayer also shows us the present day in a new perspective, because we see it in the light of a long and living tradition. Merton stresses that in meditation we should not look for a 'method' or 'system' but cultivate an 'attitude' or 'outlook': faith, openness, attention, reverence, expectation, trust, joy. God is found in the desert of surrender, in giving up any expectation of a particular message and 'waiting on the Word of God in silence'. Merton insists on the humility of faith, which he argues 'will do far more to launch us into the full current of historical reality than the pompous rationalisations of politicians who think they are somehow the directors and manipulators of history'.
Few people have ever seen or heard of The Spirit of Simplicity: it has been hidden for almost seventy years after quietly being published by the Abbey of Gethsemani in 1948. Anonymously translated and annotated by a young monk named Thomas Merton, the book's author-who also is not mentioned by name in the original edition-is Jean-Baptiste Chautard, the famous French Cistercian whose only other book, The Soul of the Apostolate, has been a favorite of modern saints and popes, including Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Every generation struggles with the question of simplicity. In the history of our faith, there have been no more eloquent voices calling us back to simplicity than the monks of the Cistercian Order, from Bernard of Clairvaux to Chautard to Merton-all of whom contribute to this powerful book. Merton surrounds Chautard's text with his own remarks on simplicity, translations of classic texts by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, and commentary that allows readers to pursue the themes of simplicity in their own lives.
Thomas Merton's thought-provoking book is a series of essays about various Amerindian cultures. +
Thomas Merton was the most popular proponent of the Christian contemplative tradition in the twentieth century. Now, for the first time, his most lyrical and prayerful writings have been arranged into A Book of Hours, which provides such a rich resource for daily prayer and contemplation that imitates the increasingly popular ancient monastic practice of "praying the hours". Editor Kathleen Deignan mined Merton's voluminous writings, arranging prayers for Dawn, Day, Dusk, and Dark for each of the days of the week. A Book of Hours gives readers a wide spectacle of texts, with psalms, prayers, readings, and reflections.
A recapitulation of his earlier work Seeds of Contemplation, this
collection of sixteen essays plumbs aspects of human spirituality.
Merton addresses those in search of enduring values, fulfillment,
and salvation in prose that is, as always, inspiring and
compassionate. "A stimulating series of spiritual reflections which
will prove helpful for all struggling to...live the richest,
fullest and noblest life" (Chicago Tribune).
"Zen enriches no one," Thomas Merton provocatively writes in his opening statement to Zen and the Birds of Appetite--one of the last books to be published before his death in 1968. "There is no body to be found. The birds may come and circle for a while... but they soon go elsewhere. When they are gone, the 'nothing, ' the 'no-body' that was there, suddenly appears. That is Zen. It was there all the time but the scavengers missed it, because it was not their kind of prey." This gets at the humor, paradox, and joy that one feels in Merton's discoveries of Zen during the last years of his life, a joy very much present in this collection of essays. Exploring the relationship between Christianity and Zen, especially through his dialogue with the great Zen teacher D.T. Suzuki, the book makes an excellent introduction to a comparative study of these two traditions, as well as giving the reader a strong taste of the mature Merton. Never does one feel him losing his own faith in these pages; rather one feels that faith getting deeply clarified and affirmed. Just as the body of "Zen" cannot be found by the scavengers, so too, Merton suggests, with the eternal truth of Christ
Marking the centenary of Dorothy Day's birth in 1897, this new edition of Loaves and Fishes makes a modern religious classic available to a new generation. A companion to her autobiography, The Long Loneliness, this is Day's frank and compelling account of thirty years as leader of the Catholic Worker Movement and editor of its newspaper. Blending a journalist's perceptions with emotional commitment and warm humor, she shares experiences amid the abandoned and impoverished, the hopeful and idealistic. In the process, she brings to life a host of remarkable personalities, and reveals a life of faith in action. A unique document of American social history, Loaves and Fishes offers powerful testimony to the unswerving faith of a woman dedicated to improving the lot of all people, and creating a viable alternative to the growing ills of a chaotic world.
The third volume of Thomas Merton's journals chronicles Merton's attempts to reconcile his desire for solitude and contemplation with the demands of his new-found celebrity status within the strictures of conventional monastic life.
New Seeds of Contemplation is one of Thomas Merton's most widely read and best-loved books. Christians and non-Christians alike have joined in praising it as a notable successor in the meditative tradition of St. John of the Cross, The Cloud of Unknowing, and the medieval mystics, while others have compared Merton's reflections with those of Thoreau. New Seeds of Contemplation seeks to awaken the dormant inner depths of the spirit so long neglected by Western man, to nurture a deeply contemplative and mystical dimension in our lives. For Merton, "Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the soil of freedom, spontaneity and love."
Thomas Merton and Ernesto Cardenal were both poets and priests, wholly committed to a life of spiritual contemplation which was never far from the gritty work that lead them to risk life and reputation in order to raise worldwide consciousness concerning issues of social justice and the abuse of human rights. From the Monastery to the World collects the complete correspondence between these spiritual men and dedicated activists, translated into English for the first time. The letters in this book, written between Merton and Cardenal from 1959-1968, give us fascinating insights into the early spiritual and political awakenings of eventual Sandinista and exponent of liberation theology Ernesto Cardenal, who was then a novice leaving the Trappist Monastery in Kentucky where he first met Merton. While making the long trip home to Nicaragua to build a utopian artist's commune on the Island of Solentiname, Cardenal rubs elbows with some of Latin America's greatest writers and artists of that time. In From the Monastery to the World, Cardenal is still a hungry pupil, years away from becoming the internationally renowned poet-statesman and Nicaraguan Minister of Culture. Here we see the poet and monk Thomas Merton as a wise, patient, and sometimes even humbled mentor, during the years when he was still shaping and collecting the raw materials for such writings as: "The Way of Chuang Tzu", "Raids on the Unspeakable", and "Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander". Merton and Cardenal's correspondence grants readers an audience to conversations between two men deeply connected by their vigorous endeavors toward spiritual freedom, voracious intellectual appetites, and artistic exploration despite the cultural differences, language barriers, and geographic distances which divide them.
Now in paperback, revised and redesigned: This is Thomas Merton's last book, in which he draws on both Eastern and Western traditions to explore the hot topic of contemplation/meditation in depth and to show how we can practice true contemplation in everyday life.
Never before published except as a series of articles (one per chapter) in an academic journal, this book on contemplation was revised by Merton shortly before his untimely death. The material bridges Merton's early work on Catholic monasticism, mysticism, and contemplation with his later writing on Eastern, especially Buddhist, traditions of meditation and spirituality. This book thus provides a comprehensive understanding of contemplation that draws on the best of Western and Eastern traditions.
Merton was still tinkering with this book when he died; it was the book he struggled with most during his career as a writer. But now the Merton Legacy Trust and experts have determined that the book makes such a valuable contribution as his major comprehensive presentation of contemplation that they have allowed its publication.
This is a handy and beautifully-produced manual of the so-called simple cautions and points of light and love of the world's most celebrated mystic, arranged not only for religious but for all lay-people who are eager to discover the ascending paths to the mystical mount of Carmel, whereby they may reach peace of spirit and the true intimacy of divine love. In a finely judged introduction, Thomas Merton shows how these powerful sayings, at once hard and luminous, reveal the essential ascetic doctrine of the Carmelite Doctor.
The first collection of Thomas Merton's nature writings serves as a primer on eco-spirituality. Thomas Merton: millions know him as the author of The Seven Storey Mountain, the international bestseller and a modern spiritual classic. Now, in the first collection of his writings on nature, Merton is revealed as a man whose spirituality is rooted in nature, an environmentalist ahead of his time. These writings reveal Merton's approach to ecology as a spiritual issue that exposes the degree of human alienation from the sacredness of the planet. Kathleen Deignan, has skillfully grouped over 300 of Merton's nature writings into thematic sections on the seasons, elements, creatures and other topics and has added an informative introduction. A foreword by renowned environmental and spiritual mentor Thomas Berry and art by John Giuliani complete this important compilation.
2014 Reprint of 1956 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. In "Bread in the Wilderness," Merton looks at the psalms as poetry; in this book he regards them as prayer. Guiding the reader through the more representative psalms, he explains why the Church also considers the psalms as the best way to praise God. According to Merton: "To put it very plainly, the Church loves the Psalms because in them she sings of her experience of God, of her union with the Incarnate Word, of her contemplation of God in the Mystery of Christ....If we really come to know and love the Psalms, we will enter into the Church's own experience of divine things. We will begin to know God as we ought." (pg.9)
Beholding Paradise: The Photographs of Thomas Merton provides the reader with the only available overview of Thomas Merton's photographs while also providing a highly accessible introduction to Merton as a photographer. For Merton, his photography, as his writing, became a way for him to explore and express his relationship with the world. As he discovered contemplative photography, and how to use a camera as a contemplative instrument, he produced images that had the same effect as much of prose and poetry writings in the last decade of his life. Media and advertisers used images manipulatively to sell a story or an object. By contrast, Merton's images have nothing to sell, they cause us to pause, to stop, to see, to see what is right in front of us every day. This volume allows the reader to explore, meditatively, the way that Thomas Merton came to see the world in the final decade of his life.
"Cassian and the Fathers" is the initial volume in the series of Novitiate Conferences of Thomas Merton, the classes he presented to young men beginning their monastic life at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. They contain Merton's insights on important Patristic and monastic figures preceding the time of St. Benedict, above al John Cassian, the most significant bridge between the early desert fathers and the development of monastic life in the West, and they reveal the continuing relevance of their teachings for contemporary monastics and other Christians.
Much of the value and interest of "Cassian and the Fathers, " as of the novitiate conferences in general, lies in the light it casts on Merton himself as teacher, novice master and monk. These notes provide a privileged standpoint for observing Merton functioning as an integral and important member of his monastic community. The 'public' Merton has long been visible in his works written for publication, and has more recently been complemented by the 'interpersonal' Merton disclosed in his correspondence and the 'intimate' Merton revealed in his complete journals.
While the novitiate conferences may not equal in significance these other sources, they do allow access to yet another stratum of Merton's wide-ranging and immensely productive engagement with his world from the distinctive standpoint he had chosen within a tradition dating back more than sixteen centuries. While these lectures need to be used critically and carefully in evaluating Merton's own perspectives and commitments, nevertheless they do need to be used.
The dialectical relationship between Merton's private and more public statements, including those made to his novice classes, makes possible a more complex and thus a richer picture of his monastic identity and so of his personal identity. In learning about"Cassian and the Fathers" from Merton, one learns as well about Merton as monk, as heir to the great monastic teachers, and as teacher of a new generation of monks, an easily overlooked and undervalued, yet integral, even central component of his vocation for more than half his monastic life. Thus the publication of the novitiate conferences will fill a significant lacuna in Merton studies and contribute to a balanced, holistic comprehension and appreciation of Thomas Merton's life and work.
This edition includes an extensive introduction situating these conferences and Merton's years as novice master in the context of his broader life as monk and writer, an extensively annotated edition of the text of the conferences based on Merton's own typescript, and helpful appendices indicating changes Merton made to his text, correlating the written text with taped versions of the actual classes, and providing suggestions for further reading both in Merton's other works and in more recent studies of the figures he discusses here.
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