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When The Trees Say Nothing

Author(s): Thomas Merton

ISBN13: 9781893732605

ISBN10: 1893732606

Publisher: Sorin Books

Extent: 191 pages

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  • Millions know Thomas Merton as the author of The Seven Storey Mountain, the autobiography that became an international bestseller and a modern spiritual classic. Merton, a prolific spiritual writer and social activist, inspired a generation from the silence and solitude of a Trappist monastery. Decades after his death, he remains a modern spiritual master, a source of wisdom on peace, racial harmony, poverty, alienation, and the engagement of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions.


    Now Merton is also revealed as a man whose spirituality is rooted in nature, an environmentalist ahead of his time. His writings on nature serve as a primer on eco-spirituality. He approaches ecology as a spiritual issue, one that exposes the degree of human alienation from the sacredness of the planet.


    When The Trees Say Nothing gathers for the first time over 300 of Merton's nature writings, grouping them thematically into sections on the seasons, elements, creatures and other topics. Edited by Merton scholar Kathleen Deignan, the collection is cohesive and accessible, drawing from both Merton's public writings and his recently published private journals. The lyrical writings are enhanced with Deignan's own informative Introduction, along with a Foreword by Thomas Berry, renowned spiritual mentor for the environmental movement.


    Unique and powerful on its own, When the Trees Say Nothing is enhanced with the art of John B. Giuliani, known for his stunning iconography. Giuliani's drawings harmonize exquisitely with Merton's meditations on nature, making When the Trees Say Nothing a spiritual and aesthetic prize.


    Table of Contents

      Acknowledgments 9
      Foreword 13
      Introduction: "The Forest Is My Bride" 21
    Chapter 1 "To Know Living Things" 43
    Chapter 2 Seasons 55
      Autumn 55
      Winter 59
      Spring 65
      Summer 70
    Chapter 3 Elements 75
      Earth 75
      Air 79
      Fire 81
      Water 84
    Chapter 4 Firmament 87
      Sky and Clouds 87
      Sun and Moon 93
      Planets and Stars 96
    Chapter 5 Creatures 103
      Butterflies and Birds 103
      Rams and Lambs 115
      Rodents and Rabbits 116
      Horses and Cattle 118
      Snakes and Frogs 121
      Deer and Dogs 124
      Bees and Bugs 130
    Chapter 6 Festivals 135
      Rain 135
      Flowers 144
      Trees 147
    Chapter 7 Presences 151
      Mountains 151
    Chapter 8 Sanctuary 161
      Forest 161
      Postscript: Sophia 179
      Notes 181
      Abbreviations 181
      Bibliography 187
  • Thomas Merton

    Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Trappist monk, writer and activist for peace and civil rights. Merton’s works have had a profound impact on contemporary religious and philosophical thought.

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When The Trees Say Nothing

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