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Document Details :
Title: Prayer as Form-of-Life
Subtitle: Monastic Practices of Spirituality by Thomas Merton
Author(s): QUARTIER, Thomas
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 30 Date: 2020
What can prayer as a practice of spirituality add to the contemporary search for a form-of-life? In this article, we try to explore this question from within monastic tradition. As monks traditionally lead a life of prayer following the Pauline ideal of ‘praying without ceasing’, it can be helpful to search for monastic witnesses of prayer in our times, to discover possible meanings of prayer in a form-of-life that takes the Divine-human relationship seriously, within modern society with all its contradictions, but also its achievements. We found these contemporary witnesses in some selected writings of the American Trappist monk Thomas Merton (1915-1968). We concentrate on examples from his oeuvre about contemplative prayer and contemporary society. One of the outcomes is that it is important to continuously search for various meanings of prayer and relate them to concrete practices. In that way, it can be a constitutive practice for forms-of-life inside and outside monasteries.