Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Sep 21, '06, 7:00 pm
Landon Landon is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2005
Posts: 8
Religion: catholic
Default Tell me about Thomas Merton?

Thank you beforehand for any/all information that you can provide. There are several nuns at my parrish that have very high regard for Thomas Merton. They often refer to his prayers in various settings including Catholic schools and church. Is he on the road to Sainthood? Is it ok to have such high regard for his writings? Was he a solid catholic priest or monk? Thanks!
  #2  
Old Sep 21, '06, 7:02 pm
mommyof4's Avatar
mommyof4 mommyof4 is offline
Veteran Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: September 6, 2006
Posts: 11,799
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Tell me about Thomas Merton?

Maybe this will help:

http://www.merton.org/
__________________
Give praise to the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever.

http://www.knocknovena.com/index.htm

Wife of 1
Mommy of 4
Slave to 11 chickens, 5 cats, 2 pigs, and 1 dog
  #3  
Old Sep 21, '06, 7:12 pm
JoyToBeCatholic JoyToBeCatholic is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2005
Posts: 731
Religion: Mennonite (former Catholic)
Default Re: Tell me about Thomas Merton?

First I ever heard of him was the lyrics used in a few songs by John Michael Talbot. I was enlightened by his insight on prayer. There is something very Buddhistic (is that even a word?) about him though, and I sometimes find this problematic. After having just read a bit on that site that was just given, I see that he was in Bankok and had a religious experience in front of a statue of Buddha. Interesting. I don't think I ever knew that about him, but some of his writings definately have a hint of Buddhism there (what little I've read). Fascinating reading though - and very enlightening!
__________________
No longer Catholic. No longer a forum member. PM disabled.
  #4  
Old Sep 21, '06, 7:21 pm
whosebob whosebob is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2004
Posts: 870
Religion: Catholic
Lightbulb Re: Tell me about Thomas Merton?

JMJ + OBT

The following may be of help or interest to you:






In Christ.

IC XC NIKA
__________________
[Jesus said] Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace. + Diary of St. Faustina #1074 +
My home on the Net :: http://www.michaelsbradleyjr.net/
  #5  
Old Sep 21, '06, 7:56 pm
Landon Landon is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2005
Posts: 8
Religion: catholic
Default Re: Tell me about Thomas Merton?

After reviewing a few of these web sites I am even more concerned. Merton appeared to be a bit confused if he believed in "one truth" or if there are many truths. He wanted to know what it was like to be a buddist, had a "religious experience" when reflecting on Budda, ect... Why is this man so great? I'm not getting it?
  #6  
Old Sep 21, '06, 8:23 pm
Anima Christi Anima Christi is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: April 6, 2005
Posts: 662
Religion: Evil Trad
Send a message via AIM to Anima Christi
Default Re: Tell me about Thomas Merton?

As I understand it, Merton's earlier writings are very good (i.e. Seven Storey Mountain) but he drifted from orthodoxy later in life as he began to be influenced by Buddhist and Eastern mysticism.
  #7  
Old Sep 21, '06, 8:40 pm
brotherhrolf brotherhrolf is offline
Forum Elder
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: November 6, 2004
Posts: 17,357
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Tell me about Thomas Merton?

I have read most of Thomas Merton's works. I do not believe he was diverting from Catholicism when he went to sojourn with the Buddhist monks. It was a natural extension from his own solitude You have to read Merton in sequence to see where his faith journey took him. I have. He wasn't looking toward Buddhism as much as he was looking toward the Buddhists and focusing towards God. You have to read Merton from the beginning to understand him.
__________________
Homo proponit sed Deus disponit.
  #8  
Old Sep 21, '06, 9:06 pm
Landon Landon is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2005
Posts: 8
Religion: catholic
Default Re: Tell me about Thomas Merton?

Merton appears to be unsure of the "certain ability to know God" , he appears to be for lack of a better term wishy washy. If Christ is the way, the light and the truth and the truth will set you free then how can one be set free if one is unable to know for certain who God is? Im I way off base? Should I be confident prayers and teachings by Merton are solid Catholic teachings and prayers.
  #9  
Old Sep 21, '06, 10:22 pm
nucatholic nucatholic is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 23, 2004
Posts: 444
Religion: No religion/Secular Humanist
Default Re: Tell me about Thomas Merton?

He was an excellent writer, but I think he was a bit self-absorbed. He wasn't very charitable to those of us who left the spiritual path for a different one either.
  #10  
Old Sep 22, '06, 2:10 am
RobertinRSA RobertinRSA is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2004
Posts: 50
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Tell me about Thomas Merton?

Read his book "Seven Story Mountain". Excellent work! Once you have read this book you can move onto his other works and you will then realise why those nuns have a very high regard for him. He was a very deeply spiritual person. Also Henry Nouwen follows closely in Thomas Merton's footsteps and his work is also very spiritual.

But to begin with, don't read about him etc, read his book! It is about his life and his conversion!
  #11  
Old Sep 22, '06, 8:56 am
chotock chotock is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2006
Posts: 238
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Tell me about Thomas Merton?

I think we tend to forget that he was writing a very long autobiography about his journey, his personal journey. While it may seem at times he was drifting from orthodoxy, it may in fact be that he is simply trying to understand. His life was cut short, at least by our standards, and his journey was completed in a place we are not yet privy. Once I stopped attempting to see him as a theologian and began seeing him as a man on a journey, I was throughly surprised to see my own journey and experiences come to life in front of me.
  #12  
Old Sep 22, '06, 9:30 am
JimR-OCDS's Avatar
JimR-OCDS JimR-OCDS is offline
Forum Master
 
Join Date: April 7, 2006
Posts: 13,088
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Tell me about Thomas Merton?

I have read Thomas Merton's works and enjoyed them very much.

Some of the members of my OCDS group say he had go astray from his Trappist Rule, but I could never get them to give me specifics. Things they said, were actually about his life before becoming a Catholic.

Anyway, today I enjoy Thomas Keating, who is also a Trappist Monk, and knew Thomas Merton very well.

Fr. Keating stays on Catholic Spiritual Direction, rather than getting off on social stuff that Merton sometimes got into.


Either way, Thomas Merton's writings are right on as far as Catholic doctrine goes.
  #13  
Old Sep 22, '06, 10:41 am
Cephas1229 Cephas1229 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: September 22, 2006
Posts: 94
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Tell me about Thomas Merton?

Thomas Merton's story is an incredible one. His autobiography is called The Seven Story Mountain and is the story of his conversion from Protestantism to Catholicism. He then traces the call of God to his joining the Cistercian order and to being a priest. Many people consider his conversion process like that of Augustine's. He spoke and wrote later in life about Eastern religions because he saw many similarities between their experiences of meditation and the early Desert Fathers of own own tradition. I've read most of what Thomas Merton has written and based on that I can tell you that he appreciated the truth found in Eastern thought and theology, but only in the light of his Catholic faith. All you have to do to find out about Merton is to read him. I would suggest (there are so many) The Seven Story Mountain, Thoughts in Solitude and New Seeds of Contemplation as a good beginning. Merton was rooted very solidly in Catholicism, so strongly that he was able to attempt to bridge the philosophical gap between east and west without comprimising his faith. If you want to understand the contemplative tradition and the life of silence that the Trappists espouse, I would recommend that you read some of Merton's work. Almost every book store I've ever been in (even secular) has some of his work. God Bless.
  #14  
Old Sep 22, '06, 10:51 am
quasimodo quasimodo is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 16, 2004
Posts: 945
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Tell me about Thomas Merton?

the general rule is ...

Early Merton:
Late Merton:

I know a guy who had Merton as a spiritual director for several years and he seems to agree with the general rule
__________________
"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster
  #15  
Old Sep 22, '06, 5:40 pm
Cephas1229 Cephas1229 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: September 22, 2006
Posts: 94
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Tell me about Thomas Merton?

Hi Quasimodo
I don't know where you get "your rule" from, but Merton throughout his life was Orthodox in his thinking. He was far advanced in his spirituality, but even when he read and wrote about Eastern philosophies and religions he never went against the beliefs of the church. He was very ecumenical in his thinking and wanted to find common threads that may link east and west. Merton was also a contemplative, which is the case with many eastern religious. He did find many links in philosophy, but he never compromised Catholic doctrine.
God Bless
Cephas1229
Closed Thread

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8570Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: SueZee
5243CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: James_OPL
4436Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: DesertSister62
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3903Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3878SOLITUDE
Last by: Prairie Rose
3472Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: grateful_child
3322Poems and Reflections
Last by: Purgatory Pete
3237Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: 4elise
3172For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: SueZee



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 7:17 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.