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Posted December 30, 2011

Book: Thomas Merton: When the Trees Say Nothing
Editors: Kathleen Deignan and drawings by John Giuliani
Sorin Books. Notre Dame, IN. 2003. pp. 187

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

An absence of a sense of the sacred is the basic flaw in many of our efforts at ecologically or environmentally adjusting our human presence to the natural world it has been said, "We will not save what we do not love." It is also true that we will neither love nor save what we do not experience as sacred.

In our present attitude the natural world remains a commodity to be bought and sold, not a sacred reality to be venerated. . .Eventually only our sense of the sacred will save us.

Merton's gift, eloquently captured by kathleen Deignan, is this sense of the sacred throughout the entire range of the natural world.

An Excerpt from the Book:

When the monks had found their homes, they not only settled there, for better or for worse, but they sank their roots into the ground and fell in love with their woods. . .Forest and field, sun and wind and sky, earth and water, all speak the same silent language, reminding the monk that he is here to develop like the things that grow all around him.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: The Forest is my Bride

1. To know living things

2. Seasons

3. Elements

4. Firmanment
Sky and clouds
Sun and moon
Planets and stars

5. Creatures
Butterflies and birds
Rams and lambs
Rodents and rabbits
Horses and cattle
Snakes and frogs
Deer and dogs
Bee and bugs

6. Festivals

7. Presences

8 Sanctuary

Postscript: Sophia