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Love and Living

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  14 reviews
A posthumously published collection of Merton’s essays and meditations centering on the need for love in learning to live. “Love is the revelation of our deepest personal meaning, value, and identity.” Edited by Naomi Burton Stone and Brother Patrick Hart.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 11th 2002 by Mariner Books (first published May 1st 1979)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  182 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Dec 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
my favorite book of his. his insights transcend dogma and move into mysticism
Brian Tucker
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"If patriotism is approved, chauvinism is not. The Christian is reminded that his allegiance is first of all to the entire human family, and that he must not appeal to Christian principles in order to justify a patriotism which, in fact, is dangerous or harmful to the universal good of the human race." ...more
May 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, theology
I read this book while on a long bus ride, and I otherwise might have put it down, but it kept me adequately entertained. My favorite essay in it is "The Streets Were Made for Celebrating," which is about communities. The others kind of all blend together and are pretty familiar territory if you know Merton or any modern-ish contemplative writers. ...more
Maria Corley
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'd heard of Thomas Merton, because one of my pastors had made reference to him in a sermon or two, but I'd never read his work. I picked up this book because a wonderful, spiritual fellow parishioner is giving away her library (she just turned 89). What an amazing writer, deep thinker, and fearless advocate for ideas that were probably unpopular. Sadly, his comments are still current, even though he died decades ago. Well worth the read even if you aren't Catholic (I'm not). ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
ⓒ 1979. 3 1/2 stars. A collection of essays published after Merton's death. I loved his essays on symbolism, solitude, and the cargo cults of the South Pacific. His reflections on Pierre Teilhard's work was great, too. But some essays were so traditional and orthodox there was really nothing new to get from them – I had a hard time paying attention. ...more
Brian Downie
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lot of good insight and thought provoking wisdom about love and life, one of my favorites!
Thom Behrens
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Merton starts every essay with the mindset that "God is Love." Essays on death, war, race, fear, community, greed, sex, love of all kinds. Illuminating and freeing in the classic Merton manner. ...more
Skylar Burris
Feb 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity
As is common in academic writing, Thomas Merton seems to use a lot of words to say few things. There are some highlight-worthy quotes, but I found this collection of reflections to be slow plodding. The essays varied in interest level and quality. “Love and Need” gave me the most food for thought. “The Street Is for Celebration” struck me as poetic. But other essays, such as the one on “Symbolism: Communication or Communion” seemed to me too esoteric.
Jan 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Some favorite Merton quotes...

"Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone-we find it with another." -- Thomas Merton

"Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." --
Thomas Merton

"The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another." -- Thomas Merton

Oct 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
it was pretty good although in retrospect i wouldn't have picked a book published posthumously since it was piecing together separate essays he wrote. it makes me want to read more of his works, ones that are meant to be in a book together. particularly good are the chapters on love and mercy. some other stuff was a little heady for me. ...more
Anna Spanos
Sep 01, 2009 rated it liked it
The essays in this book were really hit or miss and never formed a cohesive whole like the essays from his other books. It seemed like a bit of a stretch to force them all into one book - clearly pulled together posthumously in a way I doubt Merton intended, but worthwhile reading nonetheless.
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book that concisely sums up the center of the Christian life. Smoother reading and less obtuse than some of Merton's other books, this is well done and worth the read. ...more
Dec 31, 2015 added it
Shelves: excerpts, nonfic
Picked up and put down more than once - another one for the donation pile. I typically have a hard time ploughing through collections of nonfiction essays that are all by one author.
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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 int ...more

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“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another.” 1030 likes
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