Unparalleled. This is vintage Merton at his best. There is a purity in the writing that inspires the soul to reach for the most profound and yet most honest inner states of realizing the truth about oneself. Not just in one's approach to the practice of contemplation in the search for union with God, but also in confronting the pesky and painful foibles of one's humanity, which must find their resolution and healing in God's love. Each chapter could be the subject of a class or the focus of a week's, a month's, or even a year's contemplative practice. As a Catholic, I appreciated and could relate to the specifics of the Faith, but really, anyone who is drawn to the contemplative dimension of spirituality can benefit tremendously from the wisdom here. This is the real deal, written with a grace, skill, and simplicity that are rarely seen these days. This one's a keeper.
This text was thought-provoking. I come from a different faith perspective than Merton, so some ideas were new, some were familiar, some I found invigorating and challenging and some I could not assimilate.