RUNNING TO THE MOUNTAIN

A BOOK REVIEW BY DAN PHILLIPS OF JON KATZ'S BOOK RUNNING TO THE MOUNTAIN


A Comprehensive List of Books by Thomas Merton

This list includes everything by Thomas Merton on Amazon. Most are highly discounted. A good way to stock up on Merton books.

Internet Spiritual Writings of Brother Dan K. Phillips


Thomas Merton Site
Bro. Dan maintains this popular website dedicated to monk and poet, Thomas Merton.


How to Develop A Spiritual Journal
Description of How to Develop A Spiritual Journal.


Spiritual Journal of Dan Phillips
The spiritual journal of Bro. Dan.


More Thoughts in Solitude
A spiritual journal related to Dan's reading of Thomas Merton.


More Thoughts in Solitude (Vol.1)
More Merton readings and journaling.


Abbey of Gethsemani-A Pilgrimage
Describes a retreat taken in July, 1998, by Bro. Dan to the monastery where Thomas Merton lived.

MertonRetreats
A listing of Merton Retreats all over the world.

 

IF YOU WISH TO HAVE BROTHER DAN PHILLIPS LEAD A MERTON RETREAT IN YOUR AREA, PLEASE CHECK OUT HIS SPIRITUAL DIRECTIONS PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION.


Something BIG is about to happen with Thomas Merton.

It comes in the form of a book, Running to the Mountain, by Jon Katz.

Katz, the former executive producer for the CBS Morning News, a writer of mystery novels, and self-proclaimed techno-geek, fights turning 50 by buying a cabin on a mountain side in New York, across from the Vermont border.

The Thomas Merton of age 50 is challenged by Jon Katz as he reaches 50. Like brothers, and one of them from a previous generation, Merton and Katz fight a mortal battle on a mountain top in New York. Like Moses on his mountaintop, and Jesus on his, Katz struggles for meaning in his life with Thomas Merton as a guide.

With two dogs, Julius the contemplative representing Mary, and Stanley the active one representing Martha, and with a stack of well read Merton books, he struggles for self-assurance, a sense of faith, and a challenging hope for the future.

At 50, Merton described his life this way: "When you are beginning to be old, and I am beginning to be old, for I am fifty, both times and places no longer take on the same meaning." At the same time, in an essay Day of A Stranger, which he wrote for a friend from Buenos Aires, Miguel Grinbereg, Merton continued with a description of the most important part of his day:

"I live in the woods out of necessity. I get out of bed in the middle of the night because it is imperative that I hear the silence of the night, alone, and, with my face on the floor, say psalms, alone in the silence of the night."

The pivotal point for Katz was the death of the previous owner of the cabin, a younger man than himself named Lenny. Lenny had built the cabin with his own hands. He loved the his mountain retreat home. And though Katz had only spoken to him on the telephone, his death was shocking.

Trying to bring meaning to Lenny's death, Katz made an excursion into the religious world of Merton. He made a makeshift altar with a leftover drink of Scotch and a candle and then by a flashlight in the gathering darkness he reads from Merton's, A Search for Solitude, a prayer of Merton's at the death of a close friend of Mertons.


I have cried to thee and Thou O God has heard me:

O incline Thine ear unto me and hear my words:

Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of Thine eye.

Protect me under the shadow of Thy wings.

Hear, O Lord, my justice -- attend to my supplication.


Then Katz says, "Then I blew out the candle. Afterward, I dismantled the altar and sat for a while on the porch, watching the moon break out of the clouds and then disapper." (Even sounds like Merton, doesn't he!) The mysterious darkness of death has united the spirits of Katz and Merton.

Yes, Merton and Katz, "two spirits on the mountaintop, brushing against each other," yields for us a journey of faith and change. Running to the Mountain is a magical excursion on an isolated mountaintop. A book of faith and hope. A challenge for the future.

Over 35,000 copies of Running to the Mountain are to be printed. Already USA Today has written a lengthy and positive review. National Public Radio is a sponsor. Major advertising will be in the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle. This will be a big book for Merton fans. To order Run to the Mountain (with a 30% discount) - CLICK HERE!

 

Brother Dan Kenneth Phillips is the editor of THE MERTON SITE, an internet web site dedicated to the works and ministry of Thomas Merton. His URL is: http://edge.edge.net/~dphillip/Merton.html

Please e-mail comments and other book reviews of RUN TO THE MOUNTAIN to Dan Kenneth Phillips.

A Comprehensive List of Books by Thomas Merton

This list includes everything by Thomas Merton on Amazon. Most are highly discounted. A good way to stock up on Merton books.

IF YOU WISH TO HAVE BROTHER DAN PHILLIPS LEAD A MERTON RETREAT IN YOUR AREA, PLEASE CHECK OUT HIS SPIRITUAL DIRECTIONS PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

 

Rev. Dan K. Phillips
109 Breckenridge Road
Franklin, TN 37067
(615)-790-7129


e-mail: dphillip@edge.net For further information about Jon Katz and his e-mail correspondence with Dan Phillips go to the February 20, 1999 entry in the Solitude Journal.

NEXT REVIEW: HERETIC BLOOD BY MICHAEL HIGGINS.


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