Sunday, January 10, 2016

Father John Dear to Discuss his New Book on Thomas Merton

Father John Dear has gained a reputation in New Mexico and around the country for his opposition of war and his staunch support of disarmament and peacemaking efforts. Dear's philosophy is evident in the books he has published, including A Persisent Peace, The Nonviolent Life, Disarming the Heart: Toward a Vow of Nonviolence, and Put Down Your Sword.

Dear has also written books or introductions to books about important people who share his philosophy: Daniel Berrigan, Mohandas Gandhi, Henri Nouwen and others.  He recently published Thomas Merton: Peacemaker, which will be the subject of his talk on Thursday, January 21, at Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW (map), a small independent bookstore in Albuquerque's North Valley, at 7:00 pm.

Here's is how Bookworks is promoting the event on its website:
A noted peacemaker reflects on Thomas Merton's lessons for peacemaking today. In this centenary year of Thomas Merton's birth, longtime peace activist and author John Dear shares meditations on Merton's writings on peace and spiritual life. "The God of peace is never glorified by human violence," Merton wrote.

In the early 1960s, the famous Trappist monk, author, and poet broke new ground through his prophetic writings on nuclear weapons, war, and racism. For Merton these were not only moral challenges. They reflected a deeper spiritual crisis.

Among the lessons John Dear has learned from Merton: the connection between contemplation and nonviolence; the importance of faithful reliance on God instead of weapons or war; the need to speak out publicly for disarmament and justice; the importance of silence, solitude, and minduflness; the daily celebration of the resurrection and the wonder of creation.

In the end, John Dear invites us to take up Thomas Merton's journey and become mature spiritual seekers who break beyond the accepted norms of religious obligation into universal love, compassion, and friendship with God, that we too might become peacemakers, the beloved sons and daughters of the God of peace.

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