Dancing in the Water of Life (The Journals of Thomas Merton)

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9780060654832: Dancing in the Water of Life (The Journals of Thomas Merton)

The sixties were a time of restlessness, inner turmoil, and exuberance for Merton during which he closely followed the careening development of political and social activism – Martin Luther King, Jr., and the March on Selma, the Catholic Worker Movement, the Vietnam war, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Volume 5 chronicles the approach of Merton’s fiftieth birthday and marks his move to Mount Olivet, his hermitage at the Abbey of Gethsemani, where he was finally able to fully embrace the joys and challenges of solitary life: ‘In the hermitage, one must pray of go to seed. The pretense of prayer will not suffice. Just sitting will not suffice . . . Solitude puts you with your back to the wall (or your face to it!), and this is good’ (13 October, 1964).

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"Inexorably life moves on towards crisis and mystery. Everyone must struggle to adjust himself to this, to face the situation for 'now is the judgment of the world.' In a way, each one judges himself merely by what he does. Does, not says. Yet let us not completely dismiss words. They do have meaning. They are related to action. They spring from action and they prepare for it, they clarify it, they direct it." --Thomas Merton , August 16, 1961

The fourth volume of Thomas Merton's complete journals, one of his final literary legacies, springs from three hundred handwritten pages that capture - in candid, lively, deeply revealing passages - the growing unrest of the 1960s, which Merton witnessed within himself as plainly as in the changing culture around him.

In these decisive years, 1960-1963, Merton, now in his late forties and frequently working in a new hermitage at the Abbey of Gethsemani, finds himself struggling between his longing for a private, spiritual life and the irresistible pull of social concerns. Precisely when he longs for more solitude, and convinces himself he could not cut back on his writing, Merton begins asking complex questions about the contemporary culture ("the 'world' with its funny pants, of which I do not know the name, its sandals and sunglasses"), war, and the churches role in society.

Thus despite his resistance, he is drawn into the world where his celebrity and growing concerns for social issues fuel his writings on civil rights, nonviolence, and pacifism and lead him into conflict with those who urge him to leave the moral issues to bishops and theologians.

This pivotal volume in the Merton journals reveals a man at the height of a brilliant writing career, marking the fourteenth anniversary of his priesthood but yearning still for the key to true happiness and grace. Here, in his most private diaries, Merton is as intellectually curious, critical, and insightful as in his best-known public writings while he documents his movement from the cloister toward the world, from Novice Master to hermit, from ironic critic to joyous witness to the mystery of God's plan.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Trappist monk, writer and peace activist. His spiritual classics include New Seeds of Contemplation, The Sign of Jonas, Mystics and Zen Masters and The Seven Story Mountain

About the Author:

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Trappist monk, writer, and peace and civil rights activist. Merton's works have had a profound impact on contemporary religious and philosophical thought. He is best known for his autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain and New Seeds of Contemplation.

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Book Description HarperOne, 1998. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: The sixties were a time of restlessness, inner turmoil, and exuberance for Merton during which he closely followed the careening development of political and social activism Martin Luther King, Jr., and the March on Selma, the Catholic Worker Movement, the Vietnam war, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Volume 5 chronicles the approach of Merton's fiftieth birthday and marks his move to Mount Olivet, his hermitage at the Abbey of Gethsemani, where he was finally able to fully embrace the joys and challenges of solitary life: 'In the hermitage, one must pray of go to seed. The pretense of prayer will not suffice. Just sitting will not suffice . . . Solitude puts you with your back to the wall (or your face to it!), and this is good' (13 October, 1964). Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_006065483X

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 202 x 134 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the fifth volume of Thomas Merton s acclaimed journals, the renowned monk and writer immerses himself in the revolutionary ideas of the sixties and finally begins to live full-time at his own hermitage. Making his struggles and his happiness practically tangible on these pages, Merton was never a better writer than in his journals. His gifts are as abundantly clear in this volume as in this predecessors. -- Publishers Weekly Merton at his best: sophisticated, honest, humorous, and mystical. -- Kirkus Reviews When all the journals are published, it is likely that they will take their place with the famous journals of Henry David Thoreau, G.M. Hopkins, Edmund Wilson, and perhaps be seen as an American version of St. Augustine s Confessions. -- Catholic News Service. Bookseller Inventory # AAR9780060654832

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 202 x 134 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the fifth volume of Thomas Merton s acclaimed journals, the renowned monk and writer immerses himself in the revolutionary ideas of the sixties and finally begins to live full-time at his own hermitage. Making his struggles and his happiness practically tangible on these pages, Merton was never a better writer than in his journals. His gifts are as abundantly clear in this volume as in this predecessors. -- Publishers Weekly Merton at his best: sophisticated, honest, humorous, and mystical. -- Kirkus Reviews When all the journals are published, it is likely that they will take their place with the famous journals of Henry David Thoreau, G.M. Hopkins, Edmund Wilson, and perhaps be seen as an American version of St. Augustine s Confessions. -- Catholic News Service. Bookseller Inventory # AAR9780060654832

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