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When the renowned Trappist monk and best-selling author, Thomas Merton, died suddenly in Bangkok, Thailand in 1968, his death sent shock waves throughout the world’s spiritual community. People everywhere mourned his passing, and today his popularity continues to thrive. What is it about Merton and his timeless writings that so captures all who encounter him? In this dialogue, Jonathan Montaldo, Director Emeritus of the Merton Center at Bellarmine University, invites us to explore the man, the mystic, and the powerful social activist, who operated on behalf of the world while remaining within the walls of his Trappist monastery. Montaldo says that people respond to Merton's writings because he wrote from the deepest part of his soul. An authentic monk in the spirit of Meister Eckhart, Merton cherished the silence, and lived his life in prayer and contemplation. "Merton introduced the concept that everyone deserved to live a contemplative life, to have this leisure, to have this silence. The search for God, to live an inner life, to do inner work, to know oneself, Merton was very Augustinian in that sense. He believed that to know yourself truly is to know God, who is intimately involved in your innermost self." (hosted by Michael Toms)
Host: Michael Toms Interview Date: 5/16/2002 Program Number: 2944
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