The Prayer of Thomas Merton

A meaningful symbol of Merton’s authentic spirituality and his commitment to living a life of faith and service.

The Prayer

The Prayer of Thomas Merton

The Prayer of Thomas Merton” was written as part of his book “Thoughts in Solitude,” which was first published in 1958. This famous prayer is a deeply personal, authentic expression of Merton’s spiritual journey, and an introspective look at one’s true and false selves.

This prayer became one of Merton’s most famous works, widely read and recited by believers of different denominations (and even other religions). It reflects Merton’s belief that true prayer requires a deep awareness of our inner identity.

The Prayer of Thomas Merton prayer has been used in a variety of contexts, from personal meditation to public worship, and it continues to inspire people to seek a deeper connection with God and to live a life of authenticity and integrity.

About Thomas Merton

Image. W. Marsh, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

Thomas Merton (31 Jan 1915 – 10 Dec 1968) was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion. He joined Kentucky’s Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in 1941, then was ordained to the Catholic priesthood on May 26, 1949, and given the name “Father Louis.”

He showed a desire to learn from others, in the ways that different traditions approached the spiritual life. Merton was a keen proponent of interfaith understanding, believing it was essential to promoting peace and understanding between different cultures and religions, both in the United States and abroad.

Merton’s interfaith work helped him to develop a more nuanced understanding of his own faith. By studying other religions, he gained a deeper understanding of his own Catholic tradition, which in turn helped him with his focus on social justice.

His letters and diaries reveal the intensity with which he focused on social justice issues. Merton wrote extensively on the dangers of (potential) further nuclear war and the problems of racism. He was a passionate advocate for social justice and a vocal critic of the injustices he saw in the world.

His most famous work is his autobiography, “The Seven Storey Mountain,” which was published in 1948. This book played a significant role in popularizing spiritual exploration in the 1960s and 1970s, along with his other works including poetry, essays, and letters.

Merton’s writings and teachings resonate most with Christians seeking spiritual enlightenment and a deeper understanding of the human experience. He is considered one of the most influential American religious authors of the 20th century.

Merton is interred on the grounds of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani.

Image: Bryan Sherwood via Flickr, CC BY 2.0
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