"If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for."—Thomas Merton
Some of today's most popular spiritual writers—including Rev. James Martin, S.J.; Bishop Robert Barron; Robert Ellsberg; Rev. Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M.; and Kaya Oakes—explore the meaning of life and what we live for using Thomas Merton's life and writings as a guide.
In his address before the US Congress, Pope Francis praised Merton as one of four exemplary Americans. This was no surprise to the thousands who already know and appreciate the twentieth-century monk, but there were many listening that day who still have no idea who Merton is.
What I Am Living For offers readers new to Merton, as well as longtime enthusiasts, an opportunity to see how the influential twentieth-century monk and writer continues to encourage the awakening of faith in the twenty-first century.
The book is in two parts. Each contributor to part one focuses on an aspect of the spiritual life that is of vital importance today and on which Merton made a profound impact. These include:
Martin—Finding who God intends you to be
Ellsberg—The spiritual need for solitude and stability
Oakes—The importance of coming to terms with our sexuality, whether married, single, or celibate
Horan—The importance of dialogue with God, culture, society, and people of other faiths
Part two features shorter, often more personal reflections on the future of faith, the life and teachings of Merton, and what he still says to anyone who seeks a relationship with God.
Contributors include such well-known writers as Barron; Sue Monk Kidd; Pico Iyer; Paula Huston; Ilia Delio, O.F.M.; Paul Quenon, O.C.S.O.; and Sylvia Boorstein.