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4.32  ·  Rating details ·  164 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Thomas Merton is often considered the most prominent Christian contemplative of the twentieth century, but he was also a political activist, social visionary, and literary figure whose writings combine the candor of Thoreau and the moral vision of Gandhi. Here is a remarkably accessible introduction to his work: a collection of a short, vivid excerpts arranged in four part ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 8th 2002 by Shambhala
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Dan Smee
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Thomas Merton: Rebel with an Existential Cause
To describe Thomas Merton as a Trappist monk and writer falls short. In my reading of his ideas, Merton seemed to me to be a “rebel with an existential cause” a sort of James Dean of Catholic philosophers. Maybe there is a ‘bad boy” heritage in Catholicism, that of someone who awakens from debauchery to spirituality (arguably Saint Augustine was one). Or maybe Merton was just born cool. On the cover of Seeds we see Merton standing strong, arms down a
Jerry Oliver
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Merton is by far my favorite monk, and I dig monks, poets and troubadours. These are the folks who help keep me from cynicism, despair and hopelessness in this modern world. It's easy to lose one's spiritual thirst in a world filled with false prophets, hucksters and religious fanatics but Merton was the real deal and his thoughts and teachings are timeless and as relevant today as the they were in the time they were written.
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-life
This is a book of excerpts and quotes from Merton's various writings compiled posthumously. While some of Merton's writings are incomprehensible to me and feel circular and bewildering, even more of them are profoundly impactful and help me approach reality and Christianity from a different angle than my late 20th century Southern American upbringing trained me for. Convicting, challenging, and refreshing. ...more
if you're wondering whether it's worth reading a book of just Merton's excerpts, this title fulfilled my hopes and more. the intro says his strength as a writer is the cogency and solidity of his paragraphs of which many therein are spiritually magnificent. ...more
Josie Reno
Aug 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Non-fiction. A book to read & think about one little chunk at a time...Merton's critique of world societies driven by technology, acquisition and self-deluding/complacent spirituality forces you to think .Not an easy read at first, but you want to stay with it! Amazing insights. His life is amazing. Born in 1915 in France. Experiences loss & turbulence. Travels between Europe & US with his father. Highly intelligent but feeling lost / seeking meaning. In young & crazy days, he lost his scholarsh ...more
May 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Thomas Merton has got to be the sexiest monk that ever lived...and not sexy in the American Hollywood adolescent sense, but sexy in the juicy, raw, fire-in-your-veins, full of life sense. He was a man who reflected, questioned, challenged, and committed himself to the difficult practice of living what he preached. A religious man who went beyond the trappings of religion to the deeper meanings and exploration of the existential experience...A monk who was the opposite of a passive hermit; an act ...more
A book that changed my life! It was my first introduction to the writing of Thomas Merton. Robert Inchausti has successfully drawn paragraphs from Merton's many works and compiled them together under themes such as "Real and False Selves" and "Unquiet City". Each paragraph is like a stepping stone on a path that leads the reader deeper into the knowledge of self, man, and God. ...more
Naomi Graf
Oct 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
As time goes by this book is more revelant, not less. It helps to differentiate between illusion and reality. It gives us the right and obligation to call out the absurdity in society, to turn our backs on it and face the truth stamped within us.
Jul 28, 2015 rated it liked it
More of a smorgasbord of some great zencatholic Merton stuff than anything coherent. Some great insights in social media. Worth having on the shelf for either super casual or intense Merton/Zen/60s Catholics, but you'll want it as a sort of encyclopedic supplement, not a standalone. ...more
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
truest meditation on modern life.
Feb 01, 2008 added it
i'm just starting it. excerpts from his writings. i'm stoked for it. ...more
Oct 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was so timely for me. I read it and then journalized each thought/meditation that impacted me.
Maria Lancaster
More brilliance from TM
Aug 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
How to live! This is the best book ever.
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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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