Through the glass of His Incarntation He concentrates the rays of His Divine Truth and Love upon us so that we feel the burn, and all mystical experience is communicated to men through the Man Christ. But the wax that is hard and dry and brittle and without love will not take the seal: But then come the particulars. And then my mind drifted towards Plutarch and his more nuanced understanding of our moral and spiritual failings. John of the Cross, The Cloud of Unknowing, and the medieval mystics, while others have compared Merton's reflections with those of Thoreau.
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He had a deep spirituality but, lacking practicality, he followed Merton's lead in activities. He decided upon seed Franciscan Order, for he did not believe he was capable enough to follow the rules of a strict order like the Cistercian. Merton does it in thirty-nine ways that is the number of the short chapters.
New Seeds of Contemplation - Thomas Merton - Google Books
I'm not sure how to explain it. Even though sickly, Merton did not complain during the three years he spent in hermitage there. You may well have to get along without this. It's prepared me to ask the right questions about God and my own spiritual life, and often punched me in the gut with its poignant quotes and passages.
Jun 02, Joseph rated it it was amazing. Now, having read other Christian masters of meditation like Richard Rohr, I had a much different experience. That being said, Brother Tom plunges into a book in which he attempts to lay the groundwork, or to set the vibe for one's odyssey into contemplation.
Thomas Merton: Seeds of Contemplation
Jun 18, Debra rated it really liked it. Perhaps our best understanding of Merton comes from the way he related to his vows.
On the contrary, Thomas Merton shows very clearly the distinction between loving acceptance and cowardly ignoring. To engage truth becomes one's life time endeavor. But the full extent of his practical self-effacement is not readily noticed in his writing. The publication of his journal kept while he traveled throughout Asia on that occasion, The Asian Journal of Thomas Mertonreveals his excited enthusiasm in encountering not only the leaders but the monks, the countryside, the hermits, and the teachings.
I read the former inand the latter sometime in the mids. And this book would be a challenge to someone who gets stuck on the male gender assigned to God, but I personally did not find that inhibiting. I consider Merton to be a sage of our time, encouraging us to find God and the will of God in the quiet stillness and in our daily work and interactions. He is the grace my Abba gave me in the silence. As a female theologian, I had to constantly suspend my awareness that I was not his intended audience in order to enjoy and benefit from the text, which might be a prohibitively frustrating task to the gender-sensitive.
Let my eyes see nothing in the world but Your glory, and let my hands touch nothing that is not for Your service.
There is an irreducible opposition between the deep transcendent self that awakens only in contemplation, and the superficial, external self which we commonly identify with the first person singular. Yet, he was told to write and, faithful to his vow of obedience, he shared his experiences and the fruits of his contemplative life with the world. There were a couple of chapters and some parts of the book I glossed over because I am reluctant to believe it is possible to arrive at perfection as a contemplative.
Mar 13, Elise rated it really liked it.
New Seeds of Contemplation Quotes
Having received permission to leave his monastery, he went on a journey to confer with mystics of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The great thing about Merton is he wanted prayer to be like breathing.
It was also through his friendship with Bob Lax that he encountered a shy little man with a huge smile, a yellow turban with Hindu prayers written all over it in red, and on his feet, sneakers. This false "faith" which is what we often live by and which we even come to confuse with our "religion" is subjected to inexorable questioning… Hence, is it clear that genuine contemplation is incompatible with complacency and with smug acceptance of prejudiced opinions.
He was an advocate of thomass rights, a critic of Vietnam and nuclear proliferation, and an author and literary critic. New Directions Publishing Amazon. His purpose among us was to report on the deepest meaning of human existence, and he did it with wit and humor and always with love. This book is definitely one to come back to after years of spiritual growth and development, but I am glad I read it now because it gives me something to look forward to in the future and it provided much l While this isn't a difficult book to read, it is a deep book.
He died in the East that he had come to know through its mysticism, his last actions involving efforts to bridge the East-West seexs that his own understanding had transcended. Buddhists often criticise the mystical approach to spirituality, denying and contemlpation the mystic underpinings of many of the Muni's actual teachings.
Other times, I felt like skipping some pages, but did not expecting an epiphany to leap from the page.