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Choosing to Love the World: On Contemplation

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Amid the noise and distractions of everyday life, is it really possible to choose to love the world? In these times of great uncertainty and anxiety, how can we find God? Thomas Merton felt the urgency of these questions more than 50 years ago, and his reflections upon them are more relevant than ever. One of America's most beloved mystics of the 20th century, Merton's ...more
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Sounds True (first published January 1st 2008)
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Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, religion
“He is not merely ‘out there’ in a vague beyond. He is not merely hidden in the shadows of what is unknown and pushed further and further away in proportion as we come to know more and more. He is the very ground of what we know and our knowledge itself is His manifestation: not that He is the cause of all that is real, but that reality itself is His epiphany.”

Enlightening, as Merton always is, but choppy, because these are short little sayings drawn from a number of different works.
Brittany Eckhardt
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I read this slowly and enjoyed it, but it was maybe not the best introduction to Merton. The format was a complication of short passages taken from his various other works, which made it feel a bit disjointed.
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was perhaps not the best book to select as my introduction to Thomas Merton since it is a selection of his writings, and writings primarily concerned with the life of a monk/contemplative, but I still really liked it. This was a book that challenged me, and I found myself highlighting page after page. There are still some things I don’t understand, and probably some things I’m not sure I wholeheartedly agree with, but overall I thought Merton’s words remain timeless and compelling, even 50+ ...more
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Not the best collection of Merton's work. In fact it almost feels like something just pulled together for the sake of selling a bit more Merton. Not bad, but not essential.
Maureen Neville
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the mid 1990s I read "Thoughts in Solitude" by Thomas Merton and found it absorbing and soulful. Before that time, I knew a little about Merton's background as a journalist, and how, in his late 20s, he joined the Trappist Monks in a monastery in Kentucky. As a monk, he was allowed to continue to write and his writing is very compelling.

This book, "Choosing to Love the World: On Contemplation," was given to me recently and is a compilation of Merton's writing grouped together in thematic
R. Saunders
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just about every page is a spiritual show-stopper. Profound writing and way of life. I bought the book.
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
My first Merton. I will have to read more. I used this as a jumping off point for reflection and prayer in the mornings. It was well suited for that, and it was a helpful reminder that spiritual reading is often a good grounding for the entire day.
Michael Laflamme
Nov 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This is like a Readers Digest condensed version of Merton.
It is compiled of pieces of Merton's works, some of the excerpts are quite profound, but in the long run I'd rather read them in the context of the original works.
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Merton is my favorite for those in between spaces when I want to connect to quiet and insight. This book of excerpts is perfect for meeting that opportunity.
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Gets deeper upon each reading. I suggest doing it lectio style.
Shanna Covey
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All seekers on spiritual journey.
Shelves: spiritual
A collection of thoughts on spiritual love from Thomas Merton, a Catholic Monk.
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Thomas Merton was one of the most influential Catholic authors of the 20th century. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, in the American state of Kentucky, Merton was an acclaimed Catholic spiritual writer, poet, author and social activist. Merton wrote over 60 books, scores of essays and reviews, and is the ongoing subject of many biographies. Merton was also a proponent of ...more
“And the deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and it is beyond speech, and it is beyond concept. Not that we discover a new unity. We discover an older unity. My dear brothers and sisters, we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. So what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.” 1 likes
“For since man has decided to occupy the place of God he has shown himself to be by far the blindest, and cruelest, and pettiest, and most ridiculous of all the false gods.” 0 likes
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