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Thomas Merton: Finding the Gate to Paradise Everywhere

June 8 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

Thomas Merton was a mystic giant. He wrote 50 books and 2,000 poems in 27 years. The first printing of his autobiography, The Seven Story Mountain, in 1948 was planned for 7,500 copies. It sold over 600,000. By 1984, more than 3,000,000 additional copies had sold.

Merton invites God seekers to go deeper and wider as we discover the difference between our “True Self” and our “False Self.” As we let go of defining our self by power, prestige, and possessions and discover that we are more than what we do, what people say about us, and what we own, we are then able to remember that we are made in God’s image–and with us God is well pleased.

As we discover the holy in us, we become equipped to be a vehicle of the Good News by what we do, by what we say, and mostly by who we are. Merton wrote, “At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of truth, a point or spark which belongs to God.” Therefore, “to be a saint is to be myself.”

As we go deeper in our faith and remember who we are in God’s eyes, we are able to discover that we can connect with the core of other religions. In his final talk before his death, Merton said, “This new language of prayer has to come out of something which transcends all our traditions and comes out of the immediacy of love.” Merton himself had one of his deepest mystical experiences gazing at the rock statue of the Buddha in Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.

This half-day retreat will include a presentation, time for silent meditation, and a plenary. Our focus will be Merton’s invitation to live a cruciform life: one that is vertically connected to God and horizontally connected to our fellow souls and to “this fragile earth our island home.”

This event is hosted by Contemplative Outreach of Maryland and Washington. Bishop Porter Taylor will lead this half-day retreat. Bishop Taylor is the retired bishop of Western North Carolina and recently served two years as assisting bishop in the Diocese of Virginia.

Details

Date:
June 8
Time:
9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:

Venue

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