New Seeds of Contemplation

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New Directions Publishing, 1972 - Religion - 297 pages
15 Reviews
This edition is a much-enlarged and revised version of Seeds of Contemplation, one of the late Father Thomas Merton's most widely read and best-loved works. In its original form, the book was reprinted ten times in this country alone, and has been translated into more than a dozen languages, including Chinese and Japanese. Christians and non-Christians alike have joined in praising it as a notable successor in the meditative tradition of St. John of the Cross, The Cloud of Unknowing, and the medieval mystics, while others have compared Merton's reflections with those of Thoreau. New Seeds of Contemplation seeks to awaken the dormant inner depths of the spirit so long neglected by Western man, to nurture a deeply contemplative and mystical dimension in our spiritual lives. For Father Merton, "Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity and love."
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Priory - LibraryThing

If you read nothing else by Merton, read this. Personal, direct, and lucid, it contains some of his most challenging insights into the struggle to find an honest relationship with God and one's fellow ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jd234512 - LibraryThing

Once again, Merton has written a book that includes many of his thoughts. This one takes great lengths to determine what contemplation is and what it is not. This is very helpful, because, this seems ... Read full review

Contents

WHAT Is CONTEMPLATION? I
1
WHAT CONTEMPLATION Is NOT
6
SEEDS OF CONTEMPLATION
14
EVERYTHING THAT Is Is HOLY
21
THINGS IN THEIR IDENTITY
29
PRAY FOR YOUR OWN DISCOVERY
37
UNION AND DIVISION
47
SOLITUDE Is NOT SEPARATION
52
THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST
150
LIFE IN CHRIST
158
THE WOMAN CLOTHED WITH THE SUN
167
HE WHO Is NOT WITH ME Is AGAINST ME
176
HUMILITY AGAINST DESPAIR
180
FREEDOM UNDER OBEDIENCE
191
WHAT Is LIBERTY?
199
DETACHMENT 203
2-3

WE ARE ONE MAN
64
A BODY OF BROKEN BONES
70
LEARN To BE ALONE
80
THE PURE HEART
84
THE MORAL THEOLOGY OF THE DEVIL
90
INTEGRITY
98
SENTENCES
104
THE ROOT OF WAR Is FEAR
112
HELL AS HATRED
123
FAITH
126
FROM FAITH TO WISDOM
131
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION
142
MENTAL PRAYER 214
2-14
DISTRACTIONS 221
2-21
THE GIFT OF UNDERSTANDING 225
2-25
THE NIGHT OF THE SENSES 233
2-33
JOURNEY THROUGH THE WILDERNESS 239
2-39
THE WRONG FLAME 245
2-45
RENUNCIATION 250
2-50
INWARD DESTITUTION 262
2-62
SHARING THE FRUITS OF CONTEMPLATION 268
2-68
PURE LOVE 275
2-75
THE GENERAL DANCE 290
2-90
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About the author (1972)

Born in France, Thomas Merton was the son of an American artist and poet and her New Zealander husband, a painter. Merton lost both parents before he had finished high school, and his younger brother was killed in World War II. Something of the ephemeral character of human endeavor marked all his works, deepening the pathos of his writings and drawing him close to Eastern, especially Buddhist, forms of monasticism. After an initial education in the United States, France, and England, he completed his undergraduate degree at Columbia University. His parents, nominally friends, had given him little religious guidance, and in 1938, he converted to Roman Catholicism. The following year he received an M.A. from Columbia University and in 1941, he entered Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky, where he remained until a short time before his death. His working life was spent as a Trappist monk. At Gethsemani, he wrote his famous autobiography, "The Seven Storey Mountain" (1948); there he labored and prayed through the days and years of a constant regimen that began with daily prayer at 2:00 a.m. As his contemplative life developed, he still maintained contact with the outside world, his many books and articles increasing steadily as the years went by. Reading them, it is hard to think of him as only a "guilty bystander," to use the title of one of his many collections of essays. He was vehement in his opposition to the Vietnam War, to the nuclear arms race, to racial oppression. Having received permission to leave his monastery, he went on a journey to confer with mystics of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. He was accidentally electrocuted in a hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, on December 10, 1968.

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