Item description for Dialogues with Silence: Prayers & Drawings by Thomas Merton...
Overview Presents a collection of Merton's black-and-white line drawings and prayers.
An intensely personal devotional book from Thomas Merton, the ultimate spiritual writer of our time, showing his contemplative and religious side through his prayers and rarely-seen drawings. The only Merton gift book available.
Dialogues with Silence contains a selection of prayers from throughout Merton's life--from his journals, letters, poetry, books--accompanied by all 100 of Merton's rarely seen, delightful Zen-like pen-and-ink drawings, and will attract new readers as well as Merton devotees. There is no other Merton devotional like this, and the paperback edition will be elegantly designed and packaged.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8" Width: 5.38" Height: 0.61" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Feb 17, 2004
Publisher Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN 0060656034 ISBN13 9780060656034
Availability 0 units.
More About Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Trappist monk, spiritual director, political activist, social critic, and one of the most-read spiritual writers of the twentieth century. He is the author of many books, including The Seven Storey Mountain.
Reviews - What do customers think about Dialogues with Silence: Prayers & Drawings?
Portrait of Prayer Apr 23, 2006
While he was alive, Thomas Merton dedicated his life as a monk to contemplative meditation, constantly seeking a closer and ideal relationship with God. After becoming a Trappist monk at Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky, he searched for solace in a monk's life of solitude. But the more Merton expressed himself through his writing, and became better known in the outside world, the solitude that he sought was harder and harder for him to find. Johnathan Montaldo has done a wonderful job of editing this collection of Merton's prayers and private thoughts and pairing them with sketches from Merton's own hand. Together both represent the soul of a man who offers inspiration and insight to this very day.
"Dialogues with Silence" is a collection that is best read in small batches; while it is possible to read it through as one might a novel, the point of meditation and contemplation (especially on the prayers) would be lost. Some of the pictures and words go hand in hand and offer a look into Father Merton that many have never experienced before this book. The prayers are a candid glimpse into a struggling soul, and are juxtaposed with thoughts on nature and poems that are starkly beautiful. Every page is a testament to the magnificent talent that Merton had in transferring his thoughts into words.
There are many prayers I could single out to include as an example of the power of Merton's writing, but this prayer to Etienne Gilson struck me as most appropriate to one of the struggles that Merton underwent: "Please pray for me to Our Lord that, instead of merely writing something, I may 'be' something, and indeed that I may so fully be what I ought to be that there may be no further necessity for me to write, since the mere fact of being what I ought to be would be more eloquent than many books." It is extremely fortunate for us that Merton did feel the need to write so that his love of God might be an inspiration to all who read his works.
Silence is enough. Oct 29, 2001
Before becoming a Trappist monk, Thomas Merton "loved books, women, ideas, art, jazz, hard drink, cigarettes, argument, and having his opinions heard" (p. x). At age 26, however, he abandoned that life for a life of prayer, silence, and anonymity "from the world's one thousand and one interesting things" (p. x). He ended his wanderlust by travelling instead the inner geography of his heart and soul. This collection of 183 prayers is the result of his twenty-seven-year journey as a monk at Gethsemany.
"This book is a partial harvest from over four hundred prayers collected from Merton's published and unpublished works" (p. xvii). Most of the prayers here are derived from Father Merton's THOUGHTS IN SOLITUDE and ENTERING THE SILENCE. (I have given this book four stars only when measured against his NEW SEEDS OF CONTEMPLATION, and these earlier books.) In his prayers, we find Merton entrusting himself "completely to the silence of a wide landscape of woods, and hills, or sea, or desert," his heart on fire, as he quietly searches for salvation. "My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going," he prays. "I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end" (p. vii).
Although this may not be Father Merton's best book, it offers us the quiet prayers of a humble monk. Those prayers may be experienced as a powerful antidote to the troubling events unfolding in the world today.