Spiritual Direction and Meditation

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Liturgical Press, 1960 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 108 pages
5 Reviews

Merton, whose own tortuous path to spiritual maturity is well known, here offers the knowledge gained during that experience. He discusses the meaning and purpose of spiritual direction, and how to profit from that direction.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - allenkeith - LibraryThing

Great book! Why? Because it provides 'down-to-earth' sensible information and guidance concerning the two subjects declared in the book's title. I have read a number of books on spiritual direction ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LTW - LibraryThing

Merton's commentary on meditation includes everything from explaining the true goal of meditation (union with God) to teaching the basics (e.g., it's best to meditate when seated). His primer is must ... Read full review

Contents

I
11
II
21
III
28
IV
31
V
45
VI
52
VII
58
VIII
65
XI
79
XII
82
XIII
87
XIV
92
XV
93
XVI
98
XVII
103
XVIII
107

IX
77
X
78

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Page 13 - It is a continuous process of formation and guidance, in which a Christian is led and encouraged in his special vocation, so that by faithful correspondence to the graces of the Holy Spirit he may attain to the particular end of his vocation and to union with God.

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About the author (1960)

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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