There are many wonderful opportunities for spiritual growth, refreshment, joy, and solace at West Virginia Institute for Spirituality. One opportunity is a “pearl of great price” that has brought me multitudes of all of these things. It’s the Thomas Merton group that meets to pray and discuss his writings on Zoom, the third Tuesday of the month from 7:00-8:30 p.m.  “Why?” you may ask.

Thomas Merton was a monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani near Bardstown, Kentucky from 1949 until his untimely death in Thailand in 1968. He was a prolific writer, hermit/world traveler, activist, and, perhaps most dear to my heart, a contemplative who saw God’s presence in the fields and sky around him, and in every person. Growing up in the Louisville area myself, I cherish his essay about a Louisville street corner (4th and Walnut), where he was overwhelmed with suddenly seeing everyone “…walking around like the sun…I saw the secret beauty of their hearts…the person that each one is in God’s eyes…”  I began my “Merton journey” with his autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, and I’ve taken his prayer “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going…” to heart many times.

I invite you to come and visit our group and discover what his writings might say to you! To sign up to receive email reminders, email frbpetro42@gmail.com.

Donna Becher is an Associate Spiritual Director affiliated with WVIS.