Lent and Holy Week, March 5 to April 20, 2014
THOMAS MERTON, Companion on the Way
an online retreat
Thomas Merton in the 1960s
photo by John Lyons
An online retreat examining contemplation and struggle in the life, writings, and prayer of Thomas Merton, with guidance and opportunity for prayer and practice.
We will journey through the Christian season of Lent, from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday,* with writings by Thomas Merton (Fr. Louis), Trappist monk, poet, spiritual teacher, hermit, and social critic.
* There will be an option to continue and conclude April 21-25, for those who have church ministry responsibilities through Easter Sunday (and need rest on Easter Monday!) and who may prefer to engage in the final retreat meditations during Easter Week rather than Holy Week.
This is the second year we have offered the online Merton retreat for Lent. We have lowered the price of registration significantly to make the retreat more accessible.
We are also offering another Lenten retreat this year: Desert Journey, Daily Bread, on the themes of fasting and food. Have a look here if this appeals to you more than the Merton retreat.Each week of Thomas Merton, Companion on the Way will feature short passages from Merton's writings on themes of prayer, war and peace, solitude, nature, community, suffering, and new life.
The readings (they will be brief: this is a retreat, not a course) will come twice a week, usually on Tuesday evening and Saturday morning.
Readings will be coordinated with Lenten observance. Along with the writings by Merton will be suggestions for reflection, meditation, journal-keeping (verbal or visual), and prayer which participants can use and adapt to their daily life and to their own spiritual practice.
Like all our online retreats, this one will include, but not require, opportunities for conversation with other participants.
Registration and cost
To register, e-mail Jane at email@example.com.
Early Bird Special: $120 for those who register by Monday, February 24.
A sliding scale and a couple of scholarships are available for those in financial difficulty. Please write me and we will find a way to make this retreat affordable for you!
Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration.
You can pay by check.
For information on where to send your check, write Jane at firstname.lastname@example.org.We also accept PayPal now.
This means that we can take a payment by credit card as well as from a PayPal account. Either way, this is a secure payment and we never see your card number. Use the button below if you wish to pay by credit card or PayPal:
An online retreat? How does that work?
We offer you the retreat resources (meditations, images, guidelines for spiritual practice, insights on prayer) online on a blog. More specifically, a closed blog.
What's a closed blog? It's a blog open only to those whom the blog owner-administrator (in this case the retreat facilitator) allows in. In other words, it is not open to anybody wandering around the internet. Random web surfers will not be able to view either the blog or our conversations in the comments. Once you register for the course, I will send instructions on the one-time sign-in mechanism. After that, the retreat blog will always recognize you.
Do I have to talk to other people on the retreat? I'm a very private person.Can I get some support here? I need to talk.
Jane's online retreats offer you a choice: it is up to you to find your preferred balance between the solitary and the communal, between privacy and solidarity.
Use the retreat according to your personality and your circumstances. The retreat is like a room in which you are welcome to sit in the company of others and to be either visible or invisible.
You can and may make conversation part of the retreat experience. (Conversation on the retreat takes place via the comments on the blog posts at the retreat blog.) You can and may, however, remain private and just read the blog and use the practices and meditations on your own. Nobody will force you to speak.
Please be prepared to observe confidentiality and respect for other participants' diverse experiences and outlooks.
Jane Redmont is the author of When in Doubt, Sing: Prayer in Daily Life. She is a spiritual director, retreat leader, pastoral worker, writer, and theologian who has worked in campus, urban, and parish ministries. An Episcopal Christian, she was also formed in the Catholic tradition and has Jewish and Unitarian Universalist family roots. She has been involved in work for social justice and ecumenical and interreligious relations all her life and has taught college, seminary, and graduate courses in Christian history, theology, spirituality, religious pluralism, and women's, gender, and sexuality studies.
Jane has been reading Merton for forty years, taught his work, and used his writings as a help to prayer and meditation both for herself and for others.