Follow the contemplative path with Thomas Merton as your guide.
In 1942, Thomas Merton relinquished a promising academic career to join the Abbey of Gethsemani. Instead of running away from the world, however, he actually developed his most profound wisdom about it.
Now you, too, can share in this wisdom. Thomas Merton on the Contemplative Way contains a compelling set of talks on living contemplatively. In these moving talks, Merton tackles such topics as renewal, prayer, and affirming God. Recorded almost 20 years after The Seven Storey Mountain was published, these talks showcase a mystic at the height of his wisdom.
This series is one of Merton's great masterpieces. Contemplation was perhaps the issue closest to Merton's heart, and he tackles it here with profound insights. You will be enrapt as you listen to Merton deliver these talks with his trademark eloquence and erudition.
While you listen to Merton, you will see him wrestle with the complexities of contemplation. As Merton says, he left the world for the cloistered walls of the monastery to become an explorer of the "rocky land of the soul". But he also acknowledges that the contemplative life is not limited to those in solitude. Indeed, you will discover how we are all called to live contemplatively.
At the heart of these lectures lie a sense of hope and an abiding awareness of God's presence in the world. Let Thomas Merton speak to your soul today.
(Photograph of Thomas Merton by John Howard Griffin. Used with permission of the Merton Legacy Trust and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University.)
Cosa ne pensano gli iscritti
Very approachable, but has specific context
The good: Thomas Merton was a warm, engaging, thoughtful guy, very down-to-earth for essentially a scholar and philosopher, and it comes right through here. One feels one is right there in the classroom with him. The atmosphere of warm fellowship is palpable.
But it serves to note these particulars, maybe not enjoyable to everyone. The presentation is classic classroom-lecture style. Chalk writing on a chalkboard can be heard. The reference to the contemplative way is to a tradition that goes back through the Roman church, through desert fathers to Augustine and so on. The listeners are apparently (forgive my unofficial terms) initiates to be monks. Some other religionists may find the monkishness (my word) here off-putting or objectionable. References to scripture are of course in the Roman canon (though mostly, probably all, shared with any other Christian denomination's Bible-readers). The themes are, however, universal given this more limited context and the aims implied, and for me, as a person with this sort of temperament, though not these religious trappings or sectarian-specific beliefs, welcome. This is a particularly approachable serving of its subject. Let those with the particular sort of ears to hear it, hear it.
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