No Man Is an Island

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Overview

"Without a life of the spirit," Thomas Merton maintains, "our whole existence becomes unsubstantial and illusory. The life of the spirit, by integrating us in the real order established by God, puts us in the fullest possible contact with reality -- not as we imagine it, but as it really is." No Man Is an Island is a collection of sixteen essays in which Merton plumbs aspects of human spirituality. He addresses those in search of enduring values, fulfillment, and salvation in prose that is inspiring and ...
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No Man Is an Island

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Overview

"Without a life of the spirit," Thomas Merton maintains, "our whole existence becomes unsubstantial and illusory. The life of the spirit, by integrating us in the real order established by God, puts us in the fullest possible contact with reality -- not as we imagine it, but as it really is." No Man Is an Island is a collection of sixteen essays in which Merton plumbs aspects of human spirituality. He addresses those in search of enduring values, fulfillment, and salvation in prose that is inspiring and compassionate.

Meditations on certain basic verities of the spiritual life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A stimulating series of spiritual reflections which will prove helpful for all struggling to find the meaning of human existence and to live the richest, fullest, and noblest life."—Chicago Tribune

"Merton wrote of ageless spiritual life and religious devotion with the knowledge of a modern."—New York Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760738351
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 12/1/2002
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Thomas Merton (1915-1968), who was baptized Catholic in 1938, became a Trappist monk in the Cistercian Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky in 1941. Also a scholar and a man of letters, Merton’s works include more than 30 books, as well as poems, essays and lectures. This book was first published in 1955 and is among Merton’s most accessible and enduring contributions to spiritual literature.
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Table of Contents

Prologue : no man is an island
1 Love can be kept only by being given away 1
2 Sentences on hope 13
3 Conscience, freedom, and prayer 24
4 Pure intention 54
5 The word of the cross 80
6 Asceticism and sacrifice 100
7 Being and doing 123
8 Vocation 138
9 The measure of charity 173
10 Sincerity 198
11 Mercy 218
12 Recollection 229
13 "My soul remembered God" 243
14 The wind blows where it pleases 250
15 The inward solitude 258
16 Silence 269
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

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(15)

4 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Charity; Hope; Vocation; Sincerity; Conscience, Freedom, and Prayer . . .

    Merton's observations on the spiritual life of a Christian, No Man Is an Island explores hard-core issues of faith, love, and trust in God. This is by no means a cozy book; it demands much of the reader's conscience, forcing him to realize his own shortcomings. On the other hand, Merton reinforces the value of each individual as a unique creation of God.
    Treating such weighty topics, Merton writes directly and clearly. His advocation of zeal for a living God is tempered by his advising peace, calm, and a "life of the Spirit." It will thus appeal both to those who seek guidance and those who seek reassurance.
    In my own reading of this book, I discovered how to better put in action my love for others. I felt a greater need to rely on God. Merton directed me away from certain fallacies which were hindering my spiritual growth. I certainly recommend it for anyone who seeks to know more about these basic Christian issues and for anyone who is willing to undergo a potentially major change in perspective.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Wonderful

    Thomas Merton's No Man is An Island is one of the most amazing spiritual enlightening books. It is not only spiritual and religious but philisophical as well. No Man is an Island is about showing you that you are not alone. We are all connected in this vast universe and once we acknowledge that we allow ourselves to be open to love and joy in a greater way that we could not have been before. It is about truly being the best version of ourself. It shows you how to love others and yourself, and what are the things that are precious in life that you should put your effort and attention to and it shows you the things and people that can only clutter or harm your path. If you are someone who wants to be the best version of yourself then this book is for you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2010

    This Is The Best Thomas Merton Book I Have Read

    No Man Is An Island is the best Thomas Merton book, and one of the best, if not the best, book on Catholic Spirituality that I have ever read. Merton confirmed virtually all the spiritual truths I have experienced in my life from his OWN experience, grounded in the Word which is both the Bible and the living Catholic tradition of evangelization since the times of the Prophets, Christ, his apostles, the Saints, down to the present. For anyone who does not understand what God, or the Church, is all about, I recommend this book, and I suggest you read it slowly and carefully, and if possible, more than once. It is the type of book that, read with an open mind, can change your life, and make you realize the existence of a Truth you never quite fully believed, or did not know existed, until you look at your own life. Quite simply, this is a book for those who seek the Truth, and who love it, and who want to get closer to God.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    Excellent, every high school and college student should read this book

    Elie Wiesel's "Night" explains in easy to read language the conditions in the Nazi extermination camps. He lost his desire to live, save the need to help his father to stay alive. In fact his father died and he did live. Through this book, though, he has left us the legacy of never forgetting this Night of horrow. Many prominent people at the time did nothing to help the Jews and others in the concentration camps. We,now have been made aware of their sufferings and death and, by this awareness wi ll prevent th is from happening to others. This was the message of th is book to me.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Finding the Meaning of Human Life

    Thomas Merton's book takes its title from the famous line in John Donne's prose work "Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions". In his collection of sixteen essays, Merton goes deeper into this concept that no man is truly isolated from those around him. He highlights the problems that result from isolation but also offers a solution to help us to connect with others. He challenges us to live a deeper, more meaningful life, which first requires us to accept the fact that as humans, we possess selfish tendencies that damage our sense of community. After accepting this idea and putting such noises and distractions behind us, Merton tells us to selflessly open ourselves to become more compassionate and connected to others, which in turn will cause others to do the same for us. He shows us the possibilities of the gifts, such as love, that God has given us.

    The book is written in a fairly simple, straightforward style that wastes no time in getting to the point. However, Merton's message to the reader is anything but simple. Getting the most out of this book requires the reader to read Merton's essay multiple times and reflect on his ideas. His message is not only provocative, but somewhat critical and challenging. The book is very practical and its theme applies to many aspects of our daily life. Its teachings can help us get closer to God as well as with each other.

    Through his book, Merton helps us understand that there is a strong need for community with not only each other, but with God as well. Even in the toughest times when it seems that there is no one around us to make sense of things, Merton reminds us that God is always with us to listen and understand. Merton clearly demonstrates Donne's point that none of us are an island unto ourselves.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2009

    No Man Is An Island- Senior Book Project Jake K.

    Thomas Merton's "No Man Is An Island" is an epic book filled with poetic prayer that speaks of mans trials and tribulations and man's relationship with God. One quote that stands out above the rest is, "But when we have a simple intention, we are less occupied with the thing to be done.We do all that we do not only for God but so to speak in him." In this passage, Merton is speaking about when people do an act solely out of the good of their hearts, then they are doing God's work.
    "No man Is An Island" speaks to the reader about trust and loving God. It speaks about how if God is not accepted and understood, then the reader will be lost and confused. However, the book also teaches that no one is ever alone, because God is always there to help and understand. Hence the title, "No Man Is An Island," which goes to say that no man is alone.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2009

    No Man Is an Island by Thomas Merton

    Thomas Merton chose the title, "No Man Is an Island" to demonstrate that we, humans, rely on one another for our better understanding of God in relation to our spiritual life. Although I found the book to be a "slow read," there were aspects of it that were both engaging and thought-provoking. Merton takes simple concepts like love and sincerity and thoroughly examines these subjects and how they apply to God's plan for men.

    This book may discourage the novice who has recently embarked on his or her spiritual journey, but for those seeking a deeper understanding of spirituality this book could be very inspiring.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2006

    A book to keep handy for years.

    This book has been my companion over the last year as I've travelled to different places around the world, and also along my spiritual journey. It's surprisingly easy to read, and is perfect for picking up when you need encouragement about a specific topic. It is best read with a pen in hand, as to catch some of the wonderfully profound phrases of Merton's wisdom. You cannot help but understand yourself (and the world) while you read it! I've recommended this book dozens of times and have enjoyed giving it to others as a gift.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2003

    Enjoyable

    This is an enjoyable collection of essays.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2000

    One of his best!

    A wonderful book by the foremost Catholic spiritual writer of the last 100 years. Merton deals with a number of spiritual subjects and concepts in some of his best writing. Nobody can make spiritual subjects as lively and compelling as Merton

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 23, 2011

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    Posted August 10, 2009

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