“God Speaks to Each of Us”: The Poetry and Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

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“God Speaks to Each of Us”: The Poetry and Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

Introductory Lecture + 11 Talks on 5 CDs
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Availability: In stock.

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  1. “God Speaks to Each of Us”: The Poetry and Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke Audio Bundle: “God Speaks to Each of Us”: The Poetry and Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke + Gerard Manley Hopkins: Magician of Words, Sounds, Images, and Insights +- 11 CDs Total $69.95
  2. “God Speaks to Each of Us”: The Poetry and Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke Audio Bundle: “All the Living and the Dead”: The Literature of James Joyce + “God Speaks to Each of Us”: The Poetry and Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke - 8 CDs Total $49.95
  3. “God Speaks to Each of Us”: The Poetry and Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke Audio Bundle: Thomas Merton on Poetry + “God Speaks to Each of Us”: The Poetry and Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke - 12 CDs Total $64.95

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Join Thomas Merton in exploring the timeless words of one of the world’s greatest poets, Rainer Maria Rilke.


Before entering the monastery, Thomas Merton studied English at Columbia University and taught literature at St. Bonaventure University. His passion for literature never faded, and now you have the rare opportunity to take Thomas Merton as your guide in this set of his outstanding, remastered talks. Delivered to the community at the Abbey of Gethsemani in 1965 and 1966, Merton’s talks examine one of his favorite poets: Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926).


Aside from William Blake, perhaps no poet had as great an influence on Merton as Rilke, who was arguably the greatest poet from turn-of-the century Europe. Born to a devout Catholic mother in nineteenth-century Bohemia, Rilke is cherished for his beautiful verse and his multifaceted views on faith. Deeply influenced by the spiritual figures of his time, Rilke sought to explore God through the imaginative possibilities of art.


A renowned (and prolific) poet himself, Merton saw poetry as one of the most fundamental and profound modes of human expression. By exploring the works of Rilke, Merton marries his Catholic spirituality with his passion for poetry, showing how they complement and shed light on each other.  


By looking at such works as Duino Elegies, The Book of Hours, and Letters to aYoung Poet, you will discover how Rilke demonstrates holiness through imaginative possibilities. As you listen to Merton’s voice, you will more fully appreciate the abiding power of poetry.  


This set includes an afterword by Thomas Merton biographer and literature professor Michael W. Higgins


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***“Photograph of Thomas Merton by Sibylle Akers. Used with Permission of the Merton Legacy Trust and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University.  These recordings are from the archives of the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Topic Titles
Topic Titles


  • Rainer Maria Rilke: Poetry and Imagination (11/14/1965)
  • Rilke’s Spiritual Influence: “The Panther” and “The Unicorn” (11/21/1965)
  • Inseeing: Rilke as a Contemplative Poet (11/28/1965)
  • Asceticism and Gluttony (12/12/1965)
  • Freedom and Spontaneity (12/19/1965)
  • Epictetus and “The Donators” (12/26/1965)
  • Freedom in Sartre and Marcel (1/2/1966)
  • Rilke’s Search for God (2/6/1966)
  • Duino Elegies, Part I (2/20/1966)
  • Duino Elegies, Part II (2/27/1966)
  • The Simple Things of Life (3/20/1966)
  • Afterward by Dr. Michael W. Higgins, 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.

Dr. Michael W. Higgins, Ph.D. is the leading biographer of Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen. He is a celebrated scholar, an award-winning author and documentarian, and the Vatican affairs specialist for the Globe and Mail and CTV Network. Currently Professor of Religious Studies and Vice-President for Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred Heart University, Dr. Higgins is also a Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto. Previously, he served as the president of St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo, and of St. Thomas University in New Brunswick.

Dr. Higgins has edited, co-edited, authored, and co-authored thirteen books including: Heretic Blood: The Spiritual Geography of Thomas Merton, The Jesuit Mystique, Power and Peril: The Catholic Church at the Crossroads, Stalking the Holy: The Pursuit of Saint-Making, and Genius Born of Anguish: The Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen. He has also produced radio documentaries on Simone Weil, Thomas Merton, and G. K. Chesterton. A regular contributor to Commonweal and the Literary Review of Canada, Dr. Higgins is also a columnist for the Telegraph-Journal and the Irish Catholic. He is the recipient of many award...

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I have been grateful to hear Thomas Merton's voice and his responses to the novices. Review by Judith Brown, Clear Creek, California (Posted on 4/14/2015)
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