Entries related to: thomas-merton

The Friends of Thomas Merton

On November 10, 1958, Thomas Merton wrote a letter to Pope John XXIII in which the famous American monk shared with the new pope some reflections about the world and Church. In one part, Merton describes how he has begun to understand that being a cloistered monk does not necessarily mean withdrawing from the world in an absolute sort of way.
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How to Rid the World of Evil

Over the years I have heard both helpful and not-so-helpful ways of thinking and speaking about evil. On the helpful side: In 1974 I interviewed the late Father Henri Nouwen about the writings of Thomas Merton on nonviolence. Nouwen was a teacher at Yale Divinity School at the time and had written a book about Merton entitled Pray to Live.
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Interconnection of Opposites

I found myself sitting on a bus that was making its way across the Paraguayan countryside, bumping along westbound toward the capital of Asunción. Next to me in the window seat was a middle-aged Guarani woman with two children sleeping peacefully on her lap. The sun was setting in the distance. We watched it together, as it slowly sunk beneath that red-clay field.
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Thomas Merton’s Message of Hope

Thomas Merton continues to speak with a voice that is insightful, compelling, and prophetic. His extensive writings provide ample scope for any compiler who attempts to set before the reader a coherent introduction to his thought, his questions, his concerns, his passions. Words mattered: they were Merton’s stock-in-trade, his first and most characteristic art form.
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Richard Rohr on the Legacy of Thomas Merton

I only saw Thomas Merton once. He walked in front of my family and me when we were visiting the Abbey of Gethsemani in early June 1961. I had read Sign of Jonah and Waters of Siloe in the high school seminary in Cincinnati, and already my youthful mind intuitively knew that this man was a prophet for my soul and for the Church in the world. So, on the day of my graduation and return to Kansas for the summer, I said to my parents, “Let’s take the southern route home. I have a place I want you to see.” Little did I imagine!
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Discovering the Art and Truth of Thomas Merton

It’s fifty years since l discovered Thomas Merton’s book The Seven Storey Mountain. Like many before and since, l was deeply moved by his story – the turmoils of his early years, his desire to write, his discovery of prayer, his burgeoning vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, his passion for God. I never forgot the deep impact that the book had made on me, and l found over the years in my work as a priest that l continued to be drawn to him as his later writings – so insightful, so pertinent – spoke with a new compulsion about God, and the world in which we live, and the meaning of prayer, and the challenge of discipleship.
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