Archive for March, 2010

Tell Catholics the Truth by Mike Gendron

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Why Are Evangelicals Turning Catholic?

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Why Evangelicals are Returning to Rome with guest Bob DeWaay

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Evangelicals Embrace Mystics with guest Pastor Ken Silva

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Listen to the words of Thomas Merton who found what he was searching for in the faces of the Buddha statues.

Thomas Merton and Buddhism


Interreligious World Peace Project

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Merton and TWU

The following article is about Lynn Szabo, the assistant professor of English at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C. and author of In the Dark Before Dawn: New Selected Poems of Thomas Merton.

Canadian academic releases major Merton anthology
By Sabrina Locicero

A SELECTION of never-before published Thomas Merton poetry is now available to the reading public, thanks to Trinity Western University professor Lynn Szabo.

Launched June 2 at the Vancouver Public Library, Szabo’s new book, In the Dark Before Dawn: New Selected Poems of Thomas Merton, is considered the first full collection of Merton’s work. Among the previously published poems, the book consists of a selection of poetry that previously was only available to a small, select group.

Szabo, a professor of American literature at TWU and a Merton expert, has studied exclusive archives and published numerous papers on the forward-thinking, socially conscience, cloistered monk. For this book, Szabo was hand-picked by Merton’s publishers and given the distinction of editor for this first full collection of Merton’s work….

More here:

*It may be interesting to note that the Preface to Szabo’s book is written by Kathleen Norris, author of The Cloister Walk.

Here is the description of this book:

Why would a married woman with a thouroughly Protestant background and often more doubt than faith be drawn to the ancient practice of monasticism, where days are centered around a rigid schedule of prayer, work, and scripture? This is the question that Kathleen Norris asks herself as she found herself surprisingly on two extended residencies at a Benedictine monastery. Yet upon leaving the monastery, she felt transformed, as the daily events of her life on the Great plains – from her morning walk to her going to sleep – gradually took on new meaning. Once in the monastery, Norris found that time slowed down, offering a new perspective on community, family, and even small-town life.

Writing with lyrical grace, Kathleen Norris takes us through a liturgical year, as she experienced it both within the monastery and outside it. She offers her rare perspective on being both an insider and an outsider, how immersion in the cloister world – its liturgy, rituals, and sense of community – can impart meaning to everyday events and deepen our spiritual and secular lives.


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The following article appeared in BC Christian News [SEPTEMBER ISSUE 2000 • VOL. 20 #9 • Formerly “Christian Info News”]

Mertons view of spirtual growth still inspires

By Lynn Szabo

GOD ALONE reads the dictum above the gated enclosure at the Abbey of Gethsemani [www.monks.org] some 40 miles south of Louisville, Kentucky, where Thomas Merton lived for 26 years before his tragic death in December, 1968.

His autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain (1949), an unexpected bestseller, testified to his conversion to Christianity and formation as a Trappist monk. For many readers of Merton, this classic is all that they know of his story. Its rather pious, categorical depiction of monastic life leaves Merton as a young novice aspiring to sainthood and rather narrow in his unquestioned acceptance of orthodoxy. There is much more.

Many readers of Merton are now immersed in discussion of his life and significance; he has become Americas best-known monastic figure. Such discussions are at the beginnings of what will no doubt become a tradition of inquiry for scholars and laypeople alike. Indeed, Thomas Merton may very well turn out to be one of the most important contributors to twentieth century thought.

As ecumenism and societal interest in spiritual formation grows, Mertons path out of the confines of his early years as a Christian will illuminate the way for many who find themselves ill-at-ease with a theology that offers too many easy answers but not enough fruitful experience of God. For those longing to know God in ways more intimate, Mertons writings thoroughly explore the aspects of silence and solitude which lead into the experience of God alone….

More here:

Lynn Szabo is the assistant professor of English at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C.

Is TWU helping to pave Merton’s interfaith pathway to God through contemplative practices of silence and solitude?

Catholic lay monk Wayne Teasdale says this of Thomas Merton:

“Thomas Merton was perhaps the greatest popularizer of interspirituality. He opened the door for Christians to explore other traditions, notably Taoism, Hinduism and Buddhism.”
[Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions – Wayne Teasdale]


Wayne Teasdale , who wrote A Monk in the World, saw Thomas Merton as being one of the leading interspiritual visionaries as Merton assimilated “the major spiritual classics of the east into his Christian understanding, particularly Zen Buddhist, Hindu Vedanta, Yoga texts and Taoist classics.” Wayne Teasdale also said of Merton:

“He was consciously trying to relate the mystical insights of other traditions with his own Christian faith.” p.181

[SOURCE: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/merton.htm]


Merton’s Spirituality

Thomas Merton




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