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Nature was always vital in Thomas Merton’s life, from the long hours he spent as a child watching his father paint landscapes in the fresh air, to his final years of solitude in the hermitage at Our Lady of Gethsemani, where he contemplated and wrote about the beauty of his surroundings. Throughout his life, Merton’s study of the natural world shaped his spirituality in profound ways, and he was one of the first writers to raise concern about ecological issues that have become critical in recent years. In The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton, author Monica Weis suggests that Merton’s interest in nature, which developed significantly during his years at the Abbey of Gethsemani, laid the foundation for his growing environmental consciousness. Tracing Merton’s awareness of the natural world from his childhood to the final years of his life, Weis explores his deepening sense of place and desire for solitude, his love and responsibility for all living things, and his evolving ecological awareness.
Amid the noise and distractions of everyday life, is it really possible to choose to love the world? In these times of great uncertainty and anxiety, how can we find God? Thomas Merton felt the urgency of these questions more than 50 years ago, and his reflections upon them are more relevant than ever. One of America's most beloved mystics of the 20th century, Merton's voice was prophetic in the troubled era of the 1960s. In this new collection of thoughts and meditations selected from his most inspiring books and letters, Merton's radiant wisdom and foresight serve as a beacon of light for all of us searching to find true meaning and solace in today's difficult times. "Father Louis," as he was known at the Abbey of Gethsemani, fully embraced the contemplative life of a monk, yet he never held the world at arm's length: "We and our world interpenetrate. It is only in assuming full responsibility for our world, for our lives and for ourselves, that we can be said to live really for God." Sharply honest in his words but balanced by his poet's heart, Merton explores themes that include the inner ground of love, living in wisdom, and dialoguing with silence. He teaches that contemplation is possible for everyone and that the fundamental context for seeking God's presence is always our everyday lives. "In the deep silence, wisdom begins to sing her unending, sunlit, inexpressible song: the private song she speaks to the solitary soul." In Choosing to Love the World, Thomas Merton inspires us to look deep within ourselves and, in the peaceful silence of contemplation, to find and sing our own song. Edited by Jonathan Montaldo, associate director of The Merton Institute for Contemplative Living, and director of Bethany Spring, the Merton Institute retreat center in Trappist, Kentucky.
Estelle Isaacson is a contemporary seer who is gifted with a remarkable ability to perceive new streams of revelation. Dr. Robert Powell is a spiritual researcher who, in this concise work—and in many other books—brings the results of his own research investigations. Both have been blessed in an extraordinary way by virtue of accessing the realm wherein Sophia is presently found. In Part 1 of The Mystery of Sophia, a series of fourteen visions with which Estelle Isaacson was graced lead the reader into a direct and immediate connection with the mystery of Sophia in our time. In the four chapters of Part 2, Robert Powell opens up the cosmic dimension of Sophia and her path of descent toward humanity and the Earth as the bearer of a new spiritual culture: the Rose of the World, a culture founded on love and wisdom. Karen Rivers, co-founder with Robert Powell of the Sophia Foundation, has contributed a foreword to the book. And in the appendix, “Sophia—Sources of Inspiration,” Robert Powell and Estelle Isaacson offer an overview of inspired literature for all those who wish to deepen their study of Sophia.
What is it like to be a preacher or rabbi who no longer believes in God? In this expanded and updated edition of their groundbreaking study, Daniel C. Dennett and Linda LaScola comprehensively and sensitively expose an inconvenient truth that religious institutions face in the new transparency of the information age—the phenomenon of clergy who no longer believe what they publicly preach. In confidential interviews, clergy from across the ministerial spectrum—from liberal to literal—reveal how their lives of religious service and study have led them to a truth inimical to their professed beliefs and profession. Although their personal stories are as varied as the denominations they once represented, or continue to represent—whether Catholic, Baptist, Episcopalian, Methodist, Mormon, Pentecostal, or any of numerous others—they give voice not only to their own struggles but also to those who similarly suffer in tender and lonely silence. As this study poignantly and vividly reveals, their common journey has far-reaching implications not only for their families, their congregations, and their communities—but also for the very future of religion.
Wisdom and Support for Your Halftime JourneySince the publication fifteen years ago of Bob Buford’s award-winning and newly updated and expanded bestseller, Halftime, more than half a million men and women have made the halftime journey from success to significance. If you are contemplating that journey yourself or have already started, Beyond Halftime is for you.“This book is the result of fifteen years of answering questions about halftime,” writes Buford. “I’ve focused on the areas that seem to come up most from those who contact me, and I’ve answered them in much the same way I would answer you if we sat down together over coffee. So in a very real sense, this book allows me to be your companion as you negotiate the ups and downs of the whole halftime experience.”Beyond Halftime invites you to slow down and take time to listen—really listen—to the voice of your heart and the rhythms of your life. The discoveries you’re about to make during this vital phase of your life can’t be rushed.Enjoy this wise guidance on the things that matter most in moving from gaining success to leaving a legacy. Your most rewarding years lie ahead of you. Welcome to the journey.
The Wisdom of the Desert was one of Thomas Merton's favorites among his own books--surely because he had hoped to spend his last years as a hermit.

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