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School of Charity: The Letters of Thomas Merton on Religious Renewal and Spiritual Direction Paperback – 1 Mar 1993
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I read this book while I was in prison, at the start of a two-year sentence, while I was dealing not only with everything surrounding that, but while I was still coming to terms with the conversion that I had experienced as the result of my arrest. I had a time had a lot of time to read, and this was in some ways one of the best books that I could have read at the time. It may have even shaped how I approached the next two years. I began to pray my own office every day using my Bible--later I actually was able to incorporate the Book of Common Prayer into my daily prayer life as well--along with study and work according to the ancient practice of St. Benedict as best I could. Later, I was able to obtain my own copy of New Seeds of Contemplation, and read some of his other works as well. I have been out of prison for over five years, but I still pray the office, study, and do work (both for pay and for service) every day. Not all rules are meant to be broken.
I am a big fan of reading people's letters anyway, but you just cannot go wrong with Thomas Merton. I highly recommend this book, and the other volumes of his collected correspondence. I haven't read them yet, but I certainly will.