Thomas Merton on Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

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Thomas Merton on Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

  • Sacred Heart University
3 Lectures (3 Discs)
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As Christians, we are all called to be pilgrims, navigating the Way to God. For many, this pilgrimage is figurative, a spiritual journey that deepens our awareness. Some, however, choose to undertake physical journeys to the lands most sacred to our tradition.

Now, you can join Thomas Merton in learning about one such fascinating journey and the spiritual significance pilgrimage has for all of us. In these three talks, originally delivered at the Abbey of Gethsemani in the 1960s, Merton follows a fourth-century pilgrim, Aetheria. Also known as Egeria, she embarked on an epic pilgrimage through the Holy Land, as documented in her text, Itinerarium Egeriae. Merton also provides fascinating tangents about two contemporary theologians: Karl Jaspers and Rudolf Bultmann. 

Aetheria’s vocation was to see the places where our faith originated. To accomplish that, she left behind her comfortable existence and undertook an often perilous journey. She crossed raging rivers, climbed cragged mountains, and traveled deep into the desert. Wherever she went, she brought her Bible and read passages corresponding to each site.

With his trademark wit and wisdom, Merton explores the historical, literary, and spiritual importance of Aetheria’s pilgrimage. As you listen to Merton, you will broaden your understanding of the so-called “Fifth Gospel”: the Holy Land. This audio series is thus a unique opportunity to explore the Holy Land with one of the great spiritual masters of our time.

Begin this pilgrimage today.

Learn about downloadable programs.

*Photograph of Thomas Merton by John Lyons. Used with permission of the Merton Legacy Trust and the Thomas Merton Center, Bellarmine University.

Topic Titles
Topic Titles
  • Karl Jaspers and Aetheria’s Pilgrimage, Part I
  • Bultmann’s Essays on Christianity and Aetheria’s Pilgrimage, Part II
  • Aetheria’s Pilgrimage, Part III
  • Afterward by Fr. Anthony Ciorra, Ph.D.
About Your Presenter

Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk and bestselling author of such beloved works as The Seven Storey Mountain and New Seeds of Contemplation. One of the 20th century’s great mystics, Merton was also a masterful teacher who delivered powerful conferences to the novice monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani. In these conferences, Merton’s thinking moved from cloistered monastic life to issues of social justice and interreligious understanding. A spiritual sage and guide for countless men and women, Merton struggled with complex questions about God’s existence and the role of organized religion.

Those who knew him also experienced his gifts as a homilist and teacher. These special, remastered recordings are part of his spoken word legacy. They are actual recordings of Thomas Merton. By agreement with The Thomas Merton Legacy Trust, Now You Know Media has the sole right to record, master, re-master, duplicate, market, and disseminate copies of "The Merton Recordings," which are a selection of the archives housed in the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky.

Fr. Anthony Ciorra, Ph.D., is a leading expert on Catholic spirituality. He was ordained as a priest in 1973. In recognition of his ministry in the Church, Pope John Paul II awarded him the pontifical honor Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice in 1999. Fr. Ciorra was also awarded the Caritas Centennial Award in 2000 for his work in lay ministry and the Spirit of RENEW Award for his work in interreligious dialogue and ecumenism.

Fr. Ciorra's books include Everyday Mysticism (Crossroad, 1995), Beauty: A Path to God (Paulist Press, 2013), and Moral Formation in the Parish (Alba House, 1998). He is also the co-editor, with Dr. Michael W. Higgins, of Vatican II: A Universal Call to Holiness (Paulist, 2012).

Fr. Ciorra holds graduate degrees in psychology, spirituality, and pastoral theology. He earned his Ph.D. in historical theology from Fordham University.

Currently, Fr. Ciorra is Vice President for Mission and Catholic Identity and Professor of Theology at Sacred Heart University. Previously, he served as dean of the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University, director of the Center for Theological and Spiritual Development a...

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