Thomas Merton on The Cistercians: Sages of Silence
Date: August 2014
Duration: 3 hours 13 minutes
Join one of the twentieth century’s great spiritual masters in exploring Christian history and the contemplative life.
Thomas Merton was a mystic, writer, artist, and monk of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, better known as the Trappists. In this series of conferences Merton delivered in the 1960s, he presents an insightful exploration of Cistercian history. Merton’s monastic vision shaped his profound spirituality, and he examines how the Cistercians have much to teach us today.
You will journey with Merton through the most vital events of Christian contemplative history, exploring Christian monasticism’s origins in the Desert Fathers and Mothers, who encountered God in inspiring and radical ways. Then, you will see how monasticism flourished under St. Benedict, whose rule promoted the power of humility, work, and prayer.
Perhaps most importantly, Merton explains how the medieval Cistercians, founded at the Abbey of Cîteaux, have much to teach us about our world today. Facing the excesses of the Middle Ages, they sought lives of simplicity in order to make manifest their love of Christ. Theirs was a deeply contemplative practice, in which they gave themselves over to God completely. With Merton as your guide, you will explore such topics as Lectio Divina, the conversion of manners, and the core values of the Trappist way of life.
Merton delivers these lectures with his signature grace, wit, and wisdom. In taking Merton as your guide, you will discover what it means to dedicate yourself to the search for God.
This set includes an afterword by Fr. Anthony Ciorra.