Published in 1948, The Seven Storey Mountain made Thomas Merton a household name, but Merton’s spiritual autobiography is only the tip of the iceberg of his complex thought and contemplative wisdom.
The rarely heard sermons and reflective talks in this set attest to the depths of Merton’s brilliance. Recorded by Merton at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani near the end of his life, they reveal a different side of a multitalented and multifaceted monk whose prophetic vision remains as relevant today as ever.
In Thomas Merton’s Great Sermons and Reflections, you’ll witness the evolution of Merton’s thought as he moved away from a narrow, cloistered mindset to an ecumenical and socially engaged outlook. This curated collection spans five years of his life and comprises four talks that showcase the themes close to Merton’s heart: the authentic Christian life, contemporary society, contemplation, Marxism, and the relationship of literature to religion.
The first recording contains Merton’s sermon on the Feast of Immaculate Conception, delivered to the monastic community at Gethsemani in 1962. The second talk, “Passion and Prose on the Passion of Christ” (1965) introduces you to another lesser-known part of Merton’s legacy: the literature classes he taught to novice monks. The last two selections contain two complementary talks recorded on Trinity Sunday in 1967: a sermon that Merton preached at the abbey church, followed by his private reflections on the themes in that same sermon.
Although different in content, context, and setting, these talks are united by their connection to the liturgy - its sacraments, seasons, and traditions - and their encapsulation of Merton’s kaleidoscopic thought.
This set includes an afterword by Thomas Merton biographer Michael W. Higgins.