December 3-4 | Friday 7:30-9:00 p.m., Saturday 10:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. CST
Thomas Merton called the nearly 20,000 letters he wrote his “apostolate of friendship.” From the epistles of St. Paul to the “confessions” of Augustine to the correspondence of St. Bernard of Clairvaux and the messages addressed to the world today by Pope Francis, letter-writing has been an important contemplative practice, helping us become more aware of the presence of God in our lives. We will look at some of Merton’s most engaging letters and how they inspired a years-long literary exchange between Brother Paul Quenon, a Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, and Judith Valente, a writer, journalist, and Benedictine oblate, on topics such as Being and Doing, Navigating the Unexpected, Knowing When to Leave a Job, and Prayer and Meditation. This will also be a chance to reflect on the role letters have played in each of our lives and hopefully serve as a springboard for beginning a meaningful correspondence with someone we’d like to have as a spiritual companion. Based on the new book, How To Be: A Monk and a Journalist Reflect on Living & Dying, Purpose & Prayer, Forgiveness & Friendship.