Contemplative Prayer Paperback – 23 May 2005
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"[Readers] will find "Contemplative Prayer" valuable. Merton shows that all living theology needs to be rooted in exercises where men somehow happily establish contact with God."" --New York Times Book Review
"<br \><br \>[Readers] will find "Contemplative Prayer" valuable. Merton shows that all living theology needs to be rooted in exercises where men somehow happily establish contact with God. " --New York Times Book Review
"[Readers] will find Contemplative Prayer valuable. Merton shows that all living theology needs to be rooted in exercises where men somehow happily establish contact with God." --New York Times Book Review
-[Readers] will find Contemplative Prayer valuable. Merton shows that all living theology needs to be rooted in exercises where men somehow happily establish contact with God.- --New York Times Book Review
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
This is Thomas Merton at his contemplative best, applying ancient wisdom to the longings of our age through his thoughtful commentary on Scripture and important writers of the Western spiritual tradition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
He had struggled all his monastic life, after all, for acceptance of his vocation as a Solitary and contemplative - a role which seemingly had almost died out. The first half of this book is almost a polemic, citing authorities from the entire history of monasticism, to the effect that contemplation - not community life or liturgy - is the highest potential achievement of the monk's life. The second part is, surely, a description of his own spiritual state at the time of writing:
'The contemplative', he says, 'is one who would rather not know than know. Rather not enjoy than enjoy. Rather not have proof that God loves him...he intuitively seeks the dark and unknown path of aridity in preference to every other way.'
Hard words, they are followed by a searing analysis of existential 'dread' and condemnation of those who think they can achieve contemplation by their own efforts as a sort of spiritual self-help. The message is that God continues working throughout this dark night of the soul, and that hope and trust in him are the only solution to its problems.
For me, seen as Merton's attempt to wrestle with his own difficulties (and who else can he really be talking about?), this book takes on a new interest - and, almost inadvertently, a new usefulness. Merton is at his most helpful when he avoids generalities and simply presents us with himself.
The second half of the book from page 82 onwards (Chapter XI) is perhaps the core of the work. As it states on the back cover Merton stresses we shouldn't look for a 'method' or a 'system' in meditation but cultivate an 'attitude' or 'outlook'. Chapter XI (page 82) begins 'What is the purpose of meditation in the sense of "the prayer of the heart"?' and from this moment on Merton unfolds to the reader what contemplation should really be about. Some key words and phrases are 'purity of heart', 'surrender', 'listening in silence', 'the incomprehensibility of God'. There is so much more for each reader to mine from this short but deep work (144pp). The second half of this book requires short bursts of reading and contemplation on each concept in order to fully appreciate what Merton is saying to the hopeful contemplative in this modern day. It is not an easy path and a lonely one but one worth following and one that is sorely needed at this time. A worthwhile read particularly the second half of the book.
I listened to the audio CD version. I think that this work requires reflection and the ability to review what has been read to really appreciate its meaning. I feel that I have a better appreciation of the Dark Night of the Soul than I had before listening to this, but I recommend a written version and time for anyone desiring to derive the maximum benefit from this book.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
..."Merton, being a person with a good grasp for the authority and power of tradition and history, understood that the first task would be to...Read more
Look for similar items by category