Created for Joy: Thomas Merton’s Spirituality of Awareness and Witness
Dates: July 5, 2021 - July 9, 2021
Time: 9:00 am for 3 Hours (PT)
Thomas Merton Course
In his spiritual classic, New Seeds of Contemplation, Thomas Merton declares that we are “created for spiritual JOY.” Elsewhere, in a letter to a young friend, he writes that the “road to joy” is “mysteriously revealed to us without our exactly realizing it.” Still elsewhere, Merton acknowledges that God has placed him “here in the midst, as witness, as awareness, and as joy.” What does it mean to be created for joy? What do awareness and witness entail in a world, which is “absolutely transparent” and in which “God is shining through” all the time, and yet is a world marked by unspeakable violence and human suffering? First, we will explore how Merton experienced, expressed, and illuminated dimensions of joy – in spiritual awakening, being human, friendship, communion, and the “cosmic dance.” Then, we will delve into Merton’s sacramental imagination and Incarnational vision as keys to understanding his spirituality. Finally, we will examine key elements and practices of a spirituality of awareness and witness that calls us to contemplation, compassion, unity, and joy.
Presented in part by the Thomas Merton Society of Canada.