No Man Is an Island is a collection of 16 essays in which Thomas Merton plumbs aspects of human spirituality. Merton treats the “basic verities on which the spiritual life depends”. Essay themes include hope, conscience, sacrifice, charity, sincerity, mercy, and silence. The work is threaded through with Merton’s deep awareness that we are all called to “live not for ourselves but for others”. The first essay, “Love Can Be Kept Only by Being Given Away”, is a spiritual classic.
©1983 The Merton Legacy Trust (P)2007 St. Anthony Messenger Press
"A stimulating series of spiritual reflections which will prove helpful for all struggling to find the meaning of human existence and to live the richest, fullest, and noblest life." (Chicago Tribune)
"Merton wrote of ageless spiritual life and religious devotion with the knowledge of a modern." (The New York Times)
I discovered Thomas Merton when I came upon Seeds of Contemplation while browsing in the stacks of a Library during the early years of my spiritual journey. He has been a spiritual companion and guide ever since. No Man is an Island is the sequel to Seeds of Contemplation. The titles of the reflections will give you a good taste of the content:
1. Love Can Only Be Kept By Being Given Away
2. Sentences On Hope
3. Conscience, Freedom and Prayer
4. Pure Intention
5. The Word of the Cross
6. Asceticism and Sacrifice
7. Being and Doing
9. The Measure of Charity
13. My Soul Remembered God
14. The Wind Blows Where It Pleases
15. The Inward Solitude
These are quite simply some of the most profound spiritual reflections I have ever read by any author from any period of history. Sentences On Hope is the finest exposition of the true meaning of hope, a subject of special interest to me, that I have ever read. The Word of the Cross is a stunning exposition of the meaning and use of suffering. The final chapter, Silence, is rapturous (I use the word advisedly). These reflections can be read and re-read. The sheer weight of the insight contained warrants many readings and many returns. The book is a gem.
The narration is good.
I have long wished Audible would offer for books of serious spiritual literature, especially from the Catholic Tradition. They seem to be moving in that direction. Thanks, Audible, for making such a fine volume available.
Mellow to the point of relaxing.
Made me believe even more
All you need is Love and a lot of faith!
Thanks Thomas Merton!
I enjoy audio books and blogging.
I would listen to parts of it. There were some great messages.
The parts about not becoming overly engrossed communing with God.
The messages about solitude and silence. That silence is something that is everywhere although it may be drowned out by other noises.
The Jesus references were very difficult to understand.
No Man is an Island is a well-produced audio version of Thomas Merton's book.
Many beautiful insights, but not the most moving of Merton's works.
I am still working on this book. It is heady, and sometimes I think I am just not smart enough to understand or haven't the experience. As I go back to it, I find I do understand it. So I recommend that you read/listen to it in sections so that you can reflect on it.
I am not a Catholic, but I am interested in the spiritual path. It is not as approachable as Richard Rohr, but still as enlightening.
I like the topic, and I like the effort made to articulate the higher goals of my spiritual life and path.
Yes, I liked the performance.
A Documentary on Thomas Merton's Mediations
Professional librarian type, amateur historian.
This might be a better read than a listen. I found the narrator droning, so listen to the sample and if you find yourself nodding off, skip. While listening I did catch some gems but found it taxing to continue on.
I've tried to read Merton a few times and it would always bore me, but this time I was ready and it spoke to my soul. It's my first book by him.
He can be dry and slow in a way, but I also found it wonderfully deepening. The book chapters are divided into the topics of living a life in Christ and in stillness. Parts of his message are probably quite agreeable to someone who appreciates Buddhism.
Merton does not defend his faith, does not try to convince the reader, yet has a certainty about the realness of Christ that shines through very clearly. As a continually doubtful Christian, I find his approach helpful for my own faith journey.
He is quite matter of fact and neutral in his tone and assumptions. I generally appreciate this intellectual and academic kind of Christian talk over evangelical rara (nothing against evangelicals).
At times, the book seems like a preparatory guide for monastics, but I didn't mind that. Perhaps some monastic practices are good for all of us. In all, this audiobook can be really meaningful when the reader is ready.
I read a lot and on most any subject!
A few of his examples of holiness - 3 chapters maybe
No. The narration was terrible and it pulled too much info from other books. Had a few great chapters but mostly just ok chapters.
Terrible - hard to stay awake.
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