Lifelong Learning and Adult Faith Formation Spiritual Classics

Thomas Merton’s Spirituality


New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton is the Spiritual Classics choice for discussion on February 7, 2023.  There is no Spiritual Classics discussion in January.


The Lifelong Learning and Adult Faith Formation Committee invites you to join the discussion over Zoom on Tuesday, February 7 at 7:30.  To participate, just send an email to [email protected] with the name of the book in the subject line. You’ll receive a return email before the discussion with a link for the Zoom meeting.  This discussion will be led by Maryanne Rusinak, a member of Ascension/St. Edmund Parish.  


New Seeds of Contemplation is one of Thomas Merton’s most widely read books, which continues in the meditative tradition of St. John of the Cross, The Cloud of Unknowing, and the medieval mystics.  New Seeds of Contemplation seeks to awaken the dormant inner depths of the spirit neglected by modern society, and to nurture a deeply contemplative and mystical dimension in our lives.


For Merton, “Every moment and every event in every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men.”  He concludes that “seeds such as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the soil of freedom, spontaneity, and love.”

The book is available in hard copy and electronic formats for $15 or less at
The Book Table, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.  Both formats are also available to borrow from the Oak Park Public Library or through interlibrary loan.  Reading the book is not required in order to join the discussions – feel free to just come and learn more about Thomas Merton and his writings.

The Spiritual Classics discussion on March 7 at 7:30 pm over Zoom will be on Hymn of the Universe by
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin