Awake and Alive : Thomas Merton According to His Novices
By: Jon M. Sweeney
"Awake and Alive offers a distinct reminder that beyond the image of the celebrated author, readers need to remember the humanity of Thomas Merton — a man of humor, joy, monastic fraternity and simplicity."- Thomas K. Malewitz, Merton Seasonal
“This is a treasure of a little book. Thankfully, before the living memory fades, Sweeney has captured intimate and unadorned recollections from Merton’s Gethsemani novices to render an impressionistic montage, a verbal collage, a communal sketch of life under the tutelage of the spiritual giant of the twentieth century.”-Kathleen Noone Deignan, CND, Director, Institute for Earth and Spirit at Iona College; editor, A Book of Hours by Thomas Merton
“This collection of memories from Merton’s former students provides a valuable opportunity to go beyond the Merton we encounter from his books and private journals to see him as his students and fellow monks saw him—as a teacher, spiritual director, and friend.”-Gregory K. Hillis, Professor of Theology & Religious Studies, Bellarmine University; author, Man of Dialogue: Thomas Merton’s Catholic Vision
“This little book which contains the candid impressions and assessment of one who was their novice master (later fellow monks and even abbots) and a world-renowned modern-day spiritual writer and lecturer is a gem.” -Peter B. Lobo, OP, Dominican Ashram
Collecting anecdotes from several of Thomas Merton’s former novices, this book offers readers an opportunity to meet the famous monk and writer as a monastic brother, confessor, spiritual director, and friend. The title, Awake and Alive, reflects a way of being in the world, familiar to millions of readers of Merton’s books. It was Merton who first made the treasures of monastic life and monastic spirituality accessible to people outside the cloister. In many respects, what he did for his students at the Abbey of Gethsemani, he did for those who read him still, hear his recorded lectures, and continue today to follow his path.
Jon M. Sweeney is Editor at Large at Orbis Books and the author of more than forty books including The Pope Who Quit, which was optioned by HBO, The Complete Francis of Assisi, Meister Eckhart’s Book of the Heart (coauthored with Mark S. Burrows), and Thomas Merton: An Introduction to His Life, Teachings, and Practices, published by St. Martin’s Press and Penguin Random House Audio.