Ever read Thomas Merton?

Just wondering if anyone else out there has read anything of his. I am about half way through "New Seeds of Contemplation", and it is mind blowing stuff. The book brings together so many ideas that have been floating around half-formed in my mind for so long, and addresses so many issues I have been afraid or unable to address in the past...very Spirit filled writing IMHO.



great catholic mystic, very spiritual.

the rev

Hi Rev,

I decided to check out the book because I'd heard that C.S. Lewis liked his writing...very cool stuff. Like you I don't consider myself either a Catholic or a Protestant, but I'm sure I can learn alot from people in both groups.

What does the Christian mystical tradition consist of? Is there a deliberate borrowing from the Kabbalistic tradition of Judaism or were the native forms of mystism found in Europe integrated into Christianity? Are there mantra/chanting meditations, candle meditations, ecstatic prayers, etc?


MS, I really don't know alot about Christian Mysticism. Its something I'm just beginging to study, and I figured Merton would be a good place to start. Anyone that C.S. Lewis recomends I will take a good hard look at:)

I'm sure the Rev could tell you alot more about it, but I would suppose that at least some elements of Jewish tradition naturally became a part of Christian mysticism. Like anything else, just because the word "Christian" is attached to it dosn't mean that I accept everything automatically as healthy. However, what I've read in Merton so far seems to be great stuff...


I read "The Seven Storey Mountain," but I've always wanted to read more Merton. Specifically his work with the Buddhist monks in Thailand.

I've read the Seven Storey Mountain.  I'm not a big fan, but I think my mother is a Merton fanatic.

She gives me merton books, and I give her St Josemaria Escriva books...

He is more in the tradition of Catholic mystics, and then adapted a lot of Buddhist mysticism. I don't know enough about Kabbal mysticism to comment, but I really would like to learn, if you could recomend some Kabbala for idiots books. And no candyland Kabbala like Madonna

the rev

I haven't read his stuff but I have been reading about Christian mysticism and mystics lately, and Merton comes highly recommended  along with Saint John of the Cross.  I will check it out. 

Rev, since I read Status Anxiety you are my go to guy for books.  Have you read this one?

Lahi, can you give us some background on your screename?  Plus would you be interested in dicussing this book if I pick it up either here or by e-mail?

haven't read this one, but hear it was good. You might be interested in getting "in the name of Jesus" by Henri Nouwen

And if you want to understand my philosophy of community Connecting by Larry Crabb

the rev

Thanks for the recommends John.  I will check them out.

For Kabbalah books:

"God is a Verb" by Rabbi David Cooper.

Great book for someone of any religion.

Hi Cherrypicker,

My screename has been my nickname since the 7th grade. My mother is from South America, so I have a ton of Hispanic relatives who could never quite pronounce "Larry" without rolling the "rr" part of it. Basically my friends (including the hispanic ones) had a great time making fun of this and started calling me Lahi, as in La-hee. I know its dumb, just a stupid high school nickname that has stuck...

Discussing the book sounds cool. Shoot me and email anytime at mescula@hotmail.com.

That's a funny story on the screename.  I thought it might have been from the Passion movie where Jesus cries out to God while on the cross.  It sounds like he says Lahi! Lahi!  And here I thought your screen name was all deep.  LOL.

Right now I am looking at a handful of books to read next and New Seeds of Contemplation is in the mix. I will let you know.




Darren, that would have been "Elahi elahi, lama sabakhthani"

By the way, if you're interested in reading "The Seven Storey Mountain", you're more than welcome to borrow my copy...just let me know.

See I was close.  Lahi vs Elahi

I would love to borrow that book Tim.  The price is definately right. :)

Thank you very much.

LOL...I thought you were just wondering why I had such a wierd screename - I never thought about how close it was to Elahi:)