Dialogues with Silence: Prayers & Drawings

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9780060656034: Dialogues with Silence: Prayers & Drawings

The Private Merton

This intensely personal book from the ultimate spiritual writer of our time shows his contemplative and devotional side through his prayers and rarely seen drawings.  Capturing the quiet epiphanies in the life of a Trappist monk who was a celebrated writer and activist, this volume offers a glimpse into a lesser-known side of this timeless explorer of the life of the soul.

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Review:

Though best known for his spiritual writings, Thomas Merton also made drawings, whose Eastern-style brushwork have a meditative power rivaling that of his finest prayers. In Dialogues with Silence, these (mostly unpublished) drawings--of human figures, churches, the crucifixion, and abstract forms--are paired on pages with the texts of his well-known prayers. Editor Jonathan Montaldo's introduction to this volume asserts that Merton, the author of classics including The Seven Storey Mountain, became a:

witness for his generation of the way out of self-defeating individualism by tracking anew the boundaries of that ancient other country, whose citizens recognize a hidden ground of unity and love among all living things.
He might have added that, for Merton, one direct escape from individualism was the act of loving other individuals, an aspect of Merton's character that shines clearly in the many portraits here. Notably, the most arresting of these images is a face without features. It hovers next to a prayer that begins, "O God, my God, why am I so mute?" --Michael Joseph Gross

About the Author:

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) is widely regarded as one of the most influential spiritual writers of modern times. He was a Trappist monk, writer, and peace and civil rights activist. His bestselling books include The Seven-Storey Mountain, New Seeds of Contemplation, and Mystics and Zen Masters.

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