What would Thomas Merton say about the 'New Normal' ? Banner

What would Thomas Merton say about the 'New Normal' ?

Sunday, August 16, 2020

02:00 PM - 03:30 PM


The voice of Thomas Merton reaches across time with clear-eyed guidance that speaks directly to many of the struggles we are facing in our world today: Conflict. Injustice. Division. Disease. Fear. Separation. Racial Tensions. 

In this special workshop, presented by the International Thomas Merton Society (ITMS) and Contemplative Outreach Chicago, author and ITMS board member Judith Valente will lead us through a guided meditation on insights we can receive from the works of Thomas Merton to help us weather this difficult time.  

The program will be conducted via Zoom and will include a presentation by Judith followed by time for discussion. With in-person gatherings still carrying risk, this is a chance for our members to enjoy each other's company virtually and to hear and discuss a stimulating talk. The program will last approximately an hour and a half.

The Zoom link will be emailed two days before the workshop.

There is no charge for this workshop; you will have the option of making a free-will donation, if you like, during the registration process.

About Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was one of the most influential contemplatives of the 20th century. He was an American Trappist monk, best-selling author of more than 50 books, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion. Merton wrote about spiritualitysocial justice and pacifism; his best-known work is probably his compelling autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain (1948). Merton’s work helped to jump-start renewed interest in Christian mysticism and drew strong linkages between contemplation and social action. He was also an effective proponent of inter-spiritual dialog and understanding.

According to Alan Jacobs, distinguished professor of humanities at Baylor University, “Merton was a remarkable man by any measure, but perhaps the most remarkable of his traits was his hypersensitivity to social movements from which, by virtue of his monastic calling, he was supposed to be removed. Intrinsic to Merton’s nature was a propensity for being in the midst of things.” 

About Judith Valente

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Judith is a former reporter for PBS-TV and the National Public Radio affiliates in both Chicago and central Illinois and the author of several spirituality titles including, "How To Live: What the Rule St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning and Community" and "The Art of Pausing: Meditations for the Overworked and Overwhelmed." She is a popular speaker and retreat leader on the theme of living a more contemplative life in the secular world, an award-winning poet, and board member of the International Thomas Merton Society. Some Contemplative Outreach members may recall Judith’s excellent workshop on The Art of Pausing: Lessons from Merton and Other Monastics at our Annual Fall Workshop in 2015.


Please contact the registrar at registrar@centeringprayerchicago.org for any questions or for a donation receipt.

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