Thomas Merton on Monastic Spirituality and the Quest for Peace
Date: April 2016
Duration: 4 hours 49 minutes
What can the first Christian monks teach you about holy living today? In a set of conferences he recorded in 1963, Thomas Merton turns a thoughtful eye to this question.
Thomas Merton gave these conferences to the novice monks he taught. As you listen to Merton, you will join his students in the classroom.
Although they led ascetic lives centuries ago, St. Benedict, the Desert Fathers and Mothers, and other early Christian saints have much to teach everyone in the twenty-first century. Through their enduring writings, they created blueprints of the spiritual life that remain as powerful in our time as ever.
Now, with the modern mystic and monk Thomas Merton as your teacher, you can meet some of these great contemplatives and encounter their teachings. As you listen to Merton’s voice, you’ll travel back through centuries of our spiritual history to meet these men and women to whom God spoke.
You will begin by looking at the Rule of St. Benedict, which remains a relevant, practical, and faith-filled guide for holiness. Next, you will look at the beginnings of monasticism in the West before traveling to the East to meet the Desert Fathers and Mothers, whose Sayings remains one of the greatest works in the Christian tradition. You will also examine Athanasius’ The Life of Anthony, which is a treasure of the spiritual life.
As you will come to understand, the monastic life stresses that reality and the ideal life are not opposed to each other, but rather exist together. Through encountering the lives of these holy men and women, you will become more aware of Christ’s presence in the world. Join Merton in discovering the powerful––and timeless––wisdom of Christianity’s early masters today.
This set includes an afterword by Fr. Anthony Ciorra.
Photograph of Thomas Merton by Sibylle Akers. Used with permission of the Merton Legacy Trust and the Thomas Merton Center, Bellarmine University.