Has anybody read the book “My Life With The Saints” by Fr. James Martin? I thumbed through it, thinking it might be a good but until I found the section of Thomas Merton. It sounds like he is a huge fan of Thomas Merton.
I loved it. I was so bummed when I finished it because there was no more. I’ll probably reread it again someday. I really enjoy Father Martin’s writing. I’ve now picked up Merton’s autobiography and want to read more about some of the saints Father Martin wrote about.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the book. I like the idea that it’s not simply biographies of the saints as much as his relationships with them. It made me look at my friendships with the saints in a different way.
I’m not sure this is helpful to the OP though. If reading about Thomas Merton is upsetting to you, then perhaps you should skip books that talk about him.
There is a great article in “This Rock” this month about Thomas Merton and a short history of his spritual journey. We have so many great contemplative saints in our rich history who understood the beauty of our faith. Thomas Merton may have understood this for a part of his life, but he was extremely drawn to many points of the eastern non-Christian religions, especially later in life.
Stephen had Father Martin on his show to discuss the personal letters/diaries of Mother Teresa, after that interview I went out and got Father Martin’s book. I’ve always loved reading about the lives of the saints and I just like Fr. Martin’s writing so much.
I just finished and have begun reading again Father Merton’s “New Seeds of Contemplation.” I’m no expert, but I fail to see how being drawn to certain aspects of non-Christian religions makes you less of a Catholic. I pray the rosary, but I still acknowledge that pagans out east had been using prayer beads long before the Dominicans. There are many other things that pagans have used that we Christians have adopted for the glory of God.
Of course Father Merton wasn’t perfect, and he may have had some questionable ideas, but everyone has their flaws.
I’ve also had his writings reccomended to me by two of my priests, both of which are orthodox when it comes to Church teaching on faith and morals.
Well, we all have our opinions, but I must say, seeing a Merton reference in a book is most likely to have the opposite effect on me than the one it had on the OP.
This Rock lists a number of his books as recommended Merton readings. Essentially, they are from 1948 to 1958 and Seeds of Contemplation is one of the recommended books.
What scares me about Merton is that many people follow him religiously (no pun intended;) ) to the point that they also take on his east meets west philosophy, especially his attraction towards Buddhism.
At our parish, for our parish retreat, e had a priest who is a huge Merton fan speak about Merton’s philosophy. It was scary because he intermingled just enough Christianity (not even Catholicism) with eastern religion (peel the onion away to get to the inner self that is nothing, etc.) to make it seem like this is what Christians should do.
What scares me also is that his early works are, according to many, so orthodox Catholic that many people assume that his whole life was that way. Many do not know of his pilgrimage towards Buddhism in the latter part of his life.
There is an inherent beauty in many religions because most are so focused on good. But we know that the truth is God and through God, and that Jesus is our savior. Jesus Christ saves us, not ourselves.
Not trying to start a heated discussion about Mertonism, just wanted to see what people thought about the saint book:o
I read this book three times and greatly enjoyed each read. It was a great introduction to the saints, who they were, and how they lived. Fr. Martin writes well and his personal stories dovetail well with the lives of each saint he discusses.
The book inspired me to learn more about the saints.