You are invited to sit at the feet of a contemplative master.
In the words of renowned theologian Fr. Lawrence Cunningham, Thomas Merton was perhaps “the greatest spiritual writer and spiritual master of the twentieth century” With a poet’s sensibility, an intellectual’s inquiring mind, and a prophet’s courage, Merton has captured the hearts of readers around the world.
After a radical conversion experience, Merton became a Trappist monk in the Abbey of Gethsemani, where he wrote the spiritual classic The Seven Storey Mountain. At the heart of Merton’s transformative conversion was contemplation. Now, this series invites you into that profound contemplative experience. For Merton, contemplation is a gift from God that calls us to find our place within His creation.
These 6 powerful conferences were recorded by Merton at Gethsemani, where he gave religious instruction to the novice monks. As you listen to Merton in his own voice, you will encounter a candid, personal side of this beloved spiritual writer. Remastered for you to enjoy, these conferences exemplify his teachings on prayer and contemplation.
These carefully selected conferences cover such topics as the spiritual journey, John Cassian’s philosophy of prayer, silence as an act of worship, and the key components of prayer in meditation. In the final conference, you will listen to Merton’s farewell address, a powerful talk that captures the human side of Merton. With an extensive introduction by Merton expert Fr. Anthony Ciorra, these conferences are true treasures.
Discover how time spent with Merton can be transformative.
Learn about downloadable programs.
***“Photograph of Thomas Merton by John Howard Griffin. 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.
About Your Presenter
Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk and best-selling 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, moral values, 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 and are part of the archives of the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky.
About Your Presenter
Fr. Anthony Ciorra was ordained as a priest in 1973. His experience has included parish life, teaching, administration, retreat work, preaching, and formation ministries. He has graduate degrees in psychology, history, and pastoral theology and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction. He has a Ph.D. in Theology from Fordham University.
His publications include Everyday Mysticism (Crossroad 1995), a book about spirituality in the marketplace, and Moral Formation in the Parish (Alba House 1999), a book about living with Christian and moral values in the world. The spirituality in these works is reflected in his involvement in lay ministry formation and secular institute movements. In recognition of his ministry in the Church, he was given the pontifical honor Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice by Pope John Paul 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.
He is Assistant Vice President for Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. Previously he was the Dean of the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University and the director of the Center for Theological and Spiritual Development at the College of St. Elizabeth. He is the weekend associate at St. Vincent Martyr Parish in Madison, NJ. He gives workshops and retreats throughout the United States, the Middle East, and Europe. He is actively involved in creating programs for inter-religious dialogue among Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
- Introduction by Fr. Anthony Ciorra, Ph.D.
- The Spiritual Journey (1/16/1963)
- Cassian on Prayer (5/19/1963)
- Benefits of Religious Silence (12/14/1963)
- Prayer and Meditation (1/28/1964)
- Dealing with Distractions in Prayer (6/14/1964)
- Solitary Life: A Life Without Care (8/20/1965)