The perseverance of prayer

My goal this year is to attempt to re-read some key books that have influenced my life and to slow down on the number of books I read this year to try to read deeper. I am not sure how the “slower” is going to go, but I did finish Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain as my firstContinue reading “The perseverance of prayer”

Withdrawal is not the same as retreat

Several years ago I was sharing with a historian in our denomination my work on the monks of the 4th Century in Egypt and what I was learning about their “Pentecostal” experience. He dismissed it quickly, saying that he wasn’t interested in people who retreated from culture and the world instead of engaging it. WeContinue reading “Withdrawal is not the same as retreat”

Merton and “Conversion”

What has attracted me to Seven Storey Mountain over the years is the process of coming to faith. Merton sees his life in process and even when he “comes to faith,” it’s a process. The passage of his confession and baptism into the Catholic Church is still one of the most moving passages I have ever read. He details theContinue reading “Merton and “Conversion””

The powerful presence of God

I am working through Merton’s autobiography, Seven Storey Mountain. In college he was gaining more of an awareness of God through his study of literature. At the end of one summer, he wrote this: “By the time summer was over, I was to become conscious of the fact that the only way to live was toContinue reading “The powerful presence of God”

Merton and Seven Storey Mountain

My goal for reading this year is to read slllllooooowwwwweeeerr… and repeat some books. Repeating books: check. Slower: ummmm. The one book I have read multiple times… okay… a second book I have read multiple times is Seven Storey Mountain, the autobiography of Thomas Merton. This is my first read of the year. This book is very easyContinue reading “Merton and Seven Storey Mountain”

Spiritual Reading

I am working my way through Thomas Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain again. I am not good at re-reading many books, but this one I’ve ready probably 5 times. It is his story of coming to faith and entering the monastery as a Cistercian brother. As he came to faith, he struggled his first year. HeContinue reading “Spiritual Reading”