Make Peace before the Sun Goes Down

Author: Roger Lipsey
Publisher: Shambhala Publications
ISBN: 0834800918
Format: PDF
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In the 1950s and ’60s, Thomas Merton, a monk of the Trappist monastery of Gethsemani in Kentucky, published a string of books that are among the most influential spiritual books of the twentieth century—including the mega–best seller The Seven-Storey Mountain. He was something of a rock star for a cloistered monk, and from his monastic cell he enjoyed a wide and lively correspondence with people from the worlds of religion, literature, and politics. During that period he also explored and wrote extensively on Buddhism, Sufism, art, and social action. The man to whom he owed obedience in the cloistered life was a much more traditional Catholic, his abbot, Dom James Fox. To say that these two men had a conflicted relationship would be an understatement, but the tension their differences in orientation brought actually led to creative results on both sides and to a kind of hard-won respect and love. Roger Lipsey’s portrait of this unusual relationship is compelling and moving; it shows Merton in the years his imagination was taking him far beyond the walls of the monastery, and eventually, literally to Asia.

Thomas Merton Evil and Why We Suffer

Author: David E. Orberson
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1532639015
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Thomas Merton is one of the most important spiritual voices of the last century. He has never been more relevant as new generations look to him for guidance in addressing some of life's biggest questions: how can we find God, how should we engage with other faiths, and how can we oppose violence and injustice? Looking carefully, one can find, tucked away in Merton's prodigious writings, his response to another timeless question: Why do we suffer? Why does an all-powerful and all loving God permit evil and suffering? By carefully examining all of Merton's work, we find that he repeatedly confronted this question throughout most of his adult life. Intriguingly, Merton's approach to this question changed dramatically a few years before he died in 1968. An examination of all aspects of his life yields evidence that Merton’s immersion in Zen during this time contributed most to that change.

Uncommon Prayer

Author: Michael Plekon
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess
ISBN: 0268100039
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In Uncommon Prayer: Prayer in Everyday Experience, Michael Plekon wants to change our minds on what constitutes prayer. In doing so, he makes a theological claim that commonplace aspects of the Christian life are best understood as prayer, whereby encouraging us to see that everyday life carries religious import; prayer and the religious life are not restricted to special places and times, but are open to all believers at all times. Plekon examines the works of diverse authors, including many who have challenged the status quo of institutional churches. He asks us to listen to what poets, writers, activists, and others tell us about how they pray at work and at home, with colleagues, family, and friends, in all the experiences of life, from joy to suffering, sadness to hope. Among them are Sarah Coakley, Rowan Williams, Heather Havrilesky, Sara Miles, Thomas Merton, Mary Oliver, Christian Wiman, Mary Karr, Barbara Brown Taylor, Dorothy Day, Maria Skobtsova, Paul Evdokimov, Seraphim of Sarov, and Richard Rohr. Plekon argues that prayer encompasses a much wider variety of activity than formal and liturgical prayers and that, by recognizing such aspects of prayer, the believer is made more receptive to transformative aspects of prayerful attitudes.

Cistercian Fathers and Forefathers

Author: Thomas Merton
Publisher: New City Press
ISBN: 1565486722
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This volume of previously uncollected studies makes a notable contribution to Merton's extensive and influential legacy. This volume includes pieces on eleventh- and twelfth-century mo­nastics by Thomas Merton, perhaps the most significant American Catholic spiritual writer of the twentieth century. The essays are difficult to locate elsewhere, the conference transcriptions are available only here.

The Cistercian Fathers and Their Monastic Theology

Author: Thomas Merton
Publisher: Liturgical Press
ISBN: 0879074817
Format: PDF
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These conferences, presented by Thomas Merton to the novices at the Abbey of Gethsemani in 1963–1964, focus mainly on the life and writings of his great Cistercian predecessor, St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153). Guiding his students through Bernard’s Marian sermons, his treatise On the Love of God, his controversy with Peter Abelard, and above all his great series of sermons on the Song of Songs, Merton reveals why Bernard was the major religious and cultural figure in Europe during the first half of the twelfth century and why he has remained one of the most influential spiritual theologians of Western Christianity from his own day until the present. As James Finley writes in his preface to this volume, “Merton is teaching us in these notes how to be grateful and amazed that the ancient wisdom that shimmers and shines in the eloquent and beautiful things that mystics say is now flowing in our sincere desire to learn from God how to find our way to God.”

Angelic Mistakes

Author: Roger Lipsey
Publisher: New Seeds Books
ISBN: 9781590303139
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Presents a critical analysis of Thomas Merton's works along with a portfolio of thirty-four representative pieces.

Thomas Merton and the Noonday Demon

Author: Donald Grayston
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1498209386
Format: PDF, Kindle
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How did Thomas Merton become Thomas Merton? Starting out from any one of his earlier major life moments--wealthy orphan boy, big man on campus, fervent Roman Catholic convert, new and obedient monk--we find ourselves asking how by his life's end he had grown from who he was then into a transcultural and transreligious spiritual teacher read by millions. This book takes another such starting point: his attempt in the mid-1950s to move from his abbey of Gethsemani, in Kentucky--a place that had become, in his view, noisy beyond bearing--to an Italian monastery, Camaldoli, which he idealized as a place of monastic peace. The ultimate irony: Camaldoli at that time, bucolic and peaceful outwardly, was inwardly riven by a pre-Vatican II culture war; whereas Gethsemani, which he tried so hard to leave, became, when he was given his hermitage there in 1965, his place to recover Eden. In walking with Merton on this journey, and reading the letters he wrote and received at the time, we find ourselves asking, as he did, with so much energy and honesty, the deep questions that we may well need to answer in our own lives.

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Author: Roger Lipsey
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 0472118900
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Drawing from little explored archives and personal correspondence, chronicles the life of the second secretary general of the United Nations who was killed in 1961 while en route to ceasefire negotiations in the Congo.

The Seven Storey Mountain

Author: Thomas Merton
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780156010863
Format: PDF
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A celebration of Merton's spiritual autobiography is accompanied by an introduction from the editor and a note from Merton's biographer

Merton Waugh

Author: Mary Frances Coady
Publisher: Paraclete Press
ISBN: 1612617115
Format: PDF, Docs
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From 1948 to 1952 the lives of Trappist monk Thomas Merton and British novelist Evelyn Waugh were closely intertwined. During these years, Waugh became enthusiastic about American Catholicism, and in particular, monasticism as seen through the eyes of the author of The Seven Storey Mountain. He agreed to edit Merton’s autobiography and the subsequent Waters of Siloe for publication in Britain. In this close examination of their friendship, through their correspondence, we see Waugh’s coaching of a younger writer and Waugh’s brief infatuation with America. Most of all, we witness Merton the writing student and spiritual master and Waugh the master of prose and conflicted penitent. And we see how the two men diverge as the Second Vatican Council takes hold in Catholicism and the church experiences profound change. "This careful study sheds light on Merton the writer with Evelyn Waugh as his tutor. It is also an interesting snapshot of the culture of midtwentieth century Catholic renewal." —Lawrence S. Cunningham, John A. O'Brien Professor of Theology (Emeritus), The University of Notre Dame “An absorbing exchange of letters between Thomas Merton and Evelyn Waugh, focusing principally on Waugh’s editing of the British publication of The Seven Storey Mountain and The Waters of Siloe. Waugh’s sometimes barbed comments caused Merton to reflect deeper on what he was writing and how he should respond, as positively as he could, to this influential Catholic novelist. A wonderful, brief study of both men.” —Patrick Samway, S.J., editor of The Letters of Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton (forthcoming, University of Notre Dame Press, 2015) “Dedicated readers of Evelyn Waugh and Thomas Merton know of the connections between two major Catholic writers, especially of Waugh as editor and writing coach for Merton's work. But in this brief but thoroughly researched book, Coady provides important new details about Merton's role not just as willing student but as spiritual advisor to Waugh and puts those details into the cultural and religious context of the years after World War II in clear and sometimes eloquent fashion.” —Robert Murray Davis, author of Brideshead Revisited: The Past Redeemed