“That God’s Love Might Live in Us” — A Few Lovely Words from Thomas Merton

I've been re-reading Thomas Merton's The Waters of Siloe for a class I'm teaching at the monastery. It's basically Merton's history of the Cistercian order, but it's also full of his insights into Cistercian spirituality (and monastic spirituality in general). I especially love the book because it devotes several pages to the founding of the monastery in Georgia, including a wonderful photograph of the monks sitting in front of the old barn where they lived when they first came to the … [Read more...]

Patheos x 2

Last week I never got around to posting a link to my Patheos column here at my blog, so this week you get two links. Both are continuing my exploration of Cistercian spirituality, a topic that I imagine I will continue to examine at Patheos for at least a few weeks to come. So here you go:Beyond Merton: Exploring the Riches of Cistercian Literature — A surprising number of Cistercian authors, from the past and the present, have contributed to the literature of contemplative spi … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

The problem of mysticism is to endow the mind and will of man with a supernatural experience of God as He is in Himself and, ultimately, to transform a human soul into God by a union of love. This is something that no human agency can perform or merit or even conceive by itself. This work can be done only by the direct intervention of God. Nevertheless, we can dispose ourselves for mystical union, with the help of ordinary grace and the practice of the virtues. We have just seen that, for St. … [Read more...]

Means of Liberation and Internal Conversion

Yesterday at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit's lay associates gathering day, I attended a class in which we considered a document called Lay Cistercian Identity, drawn up at an international gathering of Cistercian lay associates in Spain two years ago. We particularly examined a list of "Cistercian values and practices" commended to laypersons as "a means of liberation and internal conversion." These values and practices include:Prayer and praiseConfidence and abandonment to … [Read more...]


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