This is a course about Thomas Merton and you.
You will explore Thomas Merton’s remarkable life and works while actively developing a relationship with him. For many, Merton has become a lifelong mentor and spiritual guide, and he will bring you to new places with the questions he raises and the experiences he shares. Whoever you are and wherever you come from, Thomas Merton will speak to you.
Your guide, Fr. Anthony Ciorra, is one of those very rare professors who will delight and inspire you. Given the pontifical honor Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice by Pope John Paul II and author of Everyday Mysticism, Fr. Ciorra is a remarkable teacher. Through these 12 lectures, Fr. Ciorra will help you understand the extraordinary life and works of Thomas Merton.
Merton’s path to conversion was complex, and he struggled with questions regarding God’s existence, moral values, and the place of organized religion. He pioneered religious dialogue with the East, and his experiences of prayer led him to a contemplative openness and issues of social justice.
As you study Merton in this course, you will be invited to use many of the same tools Merton used to aid in his spiritual growth: journaling, poetry, letter-writing, photography, and art. These tools and the free study guide included with the course will help you enter more deeply into your own experience with the mystery of God.
You will be challenged, inspired, and offered the opportunity to grow and change as you come to know Merton in this course. You will not be disappointed.
Photograph of Thomas Merton by John Howard Griffin. Used with Permission of the Merton Legacy Trust and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University.
Learn about downloadable programs.
Your Free Electronic Study Guide! When you order this course, we will send you a free electronic study guide that you can access in 3 convenient ways:
1) You can check your order confirmation email. It will include a link that enables you to download your guide.
2) The back of your program package also contains a copy of this link. You can access your guide by simply entering this URL into your browser.
3) Your case of CDs or DVDs will contain a copy of your electronic guide on CD. Simply insert this disc into your computer's CD/DVD drive to access your guide.
About Your Presenter
Fr. Anthony Ciorra is a leading expert on Christian spirituality. He has graduate degrees in psychology, spirituality, and pastoral theology, a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Fordham University, and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction. Fr. Ciorra is the author of Everyday Mysticism (Crossroad 1995) and has produced several Now You Know Media programs, including The History of Christian Spirituality, The Spirituality of the Twelve Steps for Everyone, and Thomas Merton: A Spiritual Guide for the Twenty-First Century. In recognition of his ministry in the Church, Pope John Paul II gave him the pontifical honor Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice in 1999. He was 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 experience has included parish life, teaching, administration, retreat work, preaching, and formation ministries. He is currently Assistant Vice President for Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred Heart University. Previously he was dean of the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University, director of the Center for Theological and Spiritual Development at the College of St. Elizabeth, and director of the Center for Spiritual Development for the Archdiocese of New York. Fr. Ciorra gives workshops and retreats throughout the world and is active in creating programs for interreligious dialogue among Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
He is the presenter of the Now You Know Media programs Thomas Merton: Spiritual Guide for the Twenty-First Century, The History of Christian Spirituality, The Spirituality of Vatican II, The Spirituality of the Twelve Steps, Gratitude: Seeing as Gift, Seven Great Schools of Catholic Spirituality, A Retreat with Pope Francis, and Everyday Mysticism: Finding the Divine in Daily Life.
- Thomas Merton: Who Is He and Why Is He Important for Today’s World?, Part 1
- Thomas Merton: Who Is He and Why Is He Important for Today’s World?, Part 2
- Thomas Merton: A Prophet and Spiritual Guide for Today’s Seekers, Part 1
- Thomas Merton: A Prophet and Spiritual Guide for Today’s Seekers, Part 2
- What Was Merton’s Spirituality and How Does He Help Us to Find Ours?, Part 1
- What Was Merton’s Spirituality and How Does He Help Us to Find Ours?, Part 2
- Thomas Merton and the Struggle for Solitude, Part 1
- Thomas Merton and the Struggle for Solitude, Part 2
- Thomas Merton and the Struggle for Solitude, Part 3
- Thomas Merton and Social Justice, Part 1
- Thomas Merton and Social Justice, Part 2
- Thomas Merton: A Guide for Interreligious Dialogue