Thomas Merton, 1915-2018, bearer of many labels: Mystic, Social Activist, Teacher, Poet, Painter, Photographer, Prophet, Scholar, Diarist, Rebel, Hermit, Catholic, Contemplative, Christian Existentialist. Now, more than a century since his birth and months past the 50th anniversary of his death, people of diverse backgrounds and traditions continue to seek his wisdom. As the labels suggest, his legacy affords many avenues of approach.
Saint Brendan the Navigator Episcopal Church proposes a book study and discussion group to focus on a common text: Love and Living, edited by Naomi Burton Stone and Brother Patrick Hart, a selection of Merton’s writings on a range of subjects and grounded in his core reality, Love. Opening reading will be the essay “ Love and Need: Is Love a Package or a Message?” in which he writes: “Love is, in fact, an intensification of life, a fullness, a wholeness.”
Anne Cushman, former Deer Isle resident and long-time student of Merton, will select the readings and facilitate discussions. Interests and needs of participants will help to shape conversations.