These five short essays or "engagements" with Merton go back almost 40 years, and represent some of the best thought on Merton anywhere to be found, uncovering a rich vein of ecumenical conversation in the latter half of the twentieth century. Like Merton himself, Archbishop Williams directs our attention to the sacramental nature of language - poetry, liturgy, theology - its capacity to interrupt, provoke, and awaken human consciousness to the presence of God in the world. (And likewise the terrible dangers of language, the profound need for its renewal in the public square.) Williams resists hagiography of Merton and directs our attention rather to topics that most engaged Merton in his turn to the world - not least Merton's interrogation of "old words for God, safe words for God, lazy words for God, useful words for God." He does so with refreshing, often brilliant poetic and theological insight. The concluding essay on Karl Barth and Merton - on "not being serious" - is alone worth volumes and hours of prayerful reflection. The Preface by Jim Forest and shimmering Afterword by Kallistos Ware highlight the spiritual/theological kinship joining Eastern Orthodoxy, Williams' Anglican tradition, and Merton's Catholic sensibilities. Great, inspiring, and (not-so) serious stuff here, inviting Merton studies to a new level.