Monday, February 8, 2016

Peace in the Struggle: Lent with Thomas Merton *an online retreat*

Lent and Holy Week, February 10-March 27, 2016

 Lent with Thomas Merton

an online retreat

Once again, we are offering an online Lenten retreat inspired by the life and writings of Thomas Merton, 20th century Trappist monk, writer, poet, spiritual teacher, artist, social critic, and pioneer in interreligious and intermonastic dialogue. In his Trappist community, he was known as Father Louis.

Our theme this year is "Peace in the Struggle." We will explore some of the meanings and dimensions of this theme, with attention both to our inner lives and to the lives and struggles in the world around us.

Though most of us are not monks, part of Merton's great appeal is that his writings speak to persons in many walks of life. Their honesty encourages our own. 

Each week of the retreat will feature short passages from Merton's writings. (Those of you who have taken an online Lenten retreat will encounter some familiar passages, but other excerpts from Merton's works will be new this year. As in the past, the writings will come in the several genres in which Merton wrote: poetry, prayer, journal, essay, memoir.

These readings (they will be brief: this is a retreat, not a course) will be posted three times a week, usually on Monday morning, Wednesday evening, and Saturday morning. The retreat will continue through Holy Week, until the celebration of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

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.

It is up to you to make the retreat your own. You can do so while remaining anonymous and simply following the retreat on the retreat blog (which is open only to retreatants and not searchable on the internet), or you can participate in conversation with other retreatants through the comments feature of each blog post.

Note: We are also offering three other Lenten retreats this year, one long, like this one, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday (click here for more information on that retreat, which is on the themes of food and fasting), and two short, for those who prefer to make a shorter (or later) commitment of daily practice nine days in a row. (Click here for a February 22-March 1 retreat with writings by Howard Thurman; click here for a March 9-15 retreat with writings by Dorothee Soelle.)
All of the retreats have a structure and a schedule, but they are flexible enough to integrate into your daily life: you are the one who decides when and where to read and pray with the materials in the retreat (day or night, at home or elsewhere) and how to apply the invitations to practice.  
An online retreat? How does that work?

* The retreat offers resources quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers (with some images as well to nourish you visually, and a little music for your ears and your sou) online on a blog. More specifically, a closed blog.

* What's a closed blog? It's a blog like this, but it is not public: it is open only to those whom the blog owner-administrator (that's me) has signed in. In other words, it is not open to anybody wandering around the internet. It is not "searchable": random web surfers will not be able to view either the blog or our conversations in the comments.

* Once you register for the retreat, I will send instructions for the one-time-only sign-in mechanism. After that, the blog will always recognize you.

Registration and payment

Although the retreat begins on Ash Wednesday, you may register until the second week of Lent. Ideally, it is best to begin very early in Lent, but most of us don't live ideal lives. If you want the support and opportunity this retreat provides, you are welcome.

To register, write me, Jane Redmont, at if you plan to pay by check: I will acknowledge your registration and send you the mailing address. I will also notify you when I receive your check.


If you are paying by credit or debit card or PayPal, simply register and pay by using the PayPal button below. (You can use this button and its secure connection to pay with a card even if you don't have a PayPal account.)

The PayPal payment will record your name and e-mail address and serve as your registration. You will receive an acknowledgment from me within 24 hours.

Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration.
If you are in a situation of financial stress, please write me and we can arrange for a discount or scholarship.

If you wish to help make more scholarships possible, just check and pay the "benefactor" rate below.

Retreat fees (choose one)

Privacy and community

During the retreat, you can remain private and just read the blog and use the quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers on your own.


If you wish, you can share your thoughts, experiences, and questions via the comments function on the blog and engage in conversation with other retreatants and with the retreat facilitator.

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