As Christians, we are all called to be pilgrims, navigating the Way to God. For many, this pilgrimage is figurative, a spiritual journey that deepens our awareness. Some, however, choose to undertake physical journeys to the lands most sacred to our tradition.
Now, you can join Thomas Merton in learning about one such fascinating journey and the spiritual significance pilgrimage has for all of us. In these three talks, originally delivered at the Abbey of Gethsemani in the 1960s, Merton follows a fourth-century pilgrim, Aetheria. Also known as Egeria, she embarked on an epic pilgrimage through the Holy Land, as documented in her text, Itinerarium Egeriae. Merton also provides fascinating tangents about two contemporary theologians: Karl Jaspers and Rudolf Bultmann.
Aetheria's vocation was to see the places where our faith originated. To accomplish that, she left behind her comfortable existence and undertook an often perilous journey. She crossed raging rivers, climbed cragged mountains, and traveled deep into the desert. Wherever she went, she brought her Bible and read passages corresponding to each site.
With his trademark wit and wisdom, Merton explores the historical, literary, and spiritual importance of Aetheria's pilgrimage. As you listen to Merton, you will broaden your understanding of the so-called "Fifth Gospel": the Holy Land. This audio series is thus a unique opportunity to explore the Holy Land with one of the great spiritual masters of our time.
Begin this pilgrimage today. (Photograph of Thomas Merton by John Howard Griffin. Used with Permission of the Merton Legacy Trust and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University.)