The book we chose to read and discuss next is The Waters Of Siloe, which is the book Merton wrote about the Cistercian/Trappist Order after he entered Our Lady of Gethsemani, the monastery that was to be his home for the rest of his life.
We chose The Waters of Siloe for at least four reasons:
1. The “elders” of our group thought highly of it,
2. Many group members voted for it,
3. It follows, chronologically, Merton’s life. That means we will continue to see his unfolding spiritual insights and growth. Plus, we will be able to answer questions essential to understanding Merton, such as: “What is the Trappist Order?” and “How (and why) did a spiritual Order founded in Europe locate in rural Kentucky?” and “What was the structure of Our Lady of Gethsemani when Merton arrived in December of 1941?”
4. A “biography” of the Trappist Order written by a man drawn inexorably to it ought to be far more fascinating than a book about the Order written by a person who merely researched it.
Here’s where you can buy a copy of The Water’s of Siloe:
Here’s a link to the Kindle version from Amazon for $14.49:
Here’s a link to the paperback edition from Amazon that same cover for $3.40 to $21.89:
I think it’s out of print. So you won’t be able to pop into a local book store to pick up a copy. In fact, the books Amazon will be selling via the link above may or may not be super duper. So wherever you can find a copy (Thrift Books? AbeBooks?), do so. I have an old used one published in 1949 by Harcourt Brace that’s kind of beat up and smells like it spent the last few decades in grandma’s basement. But it’s better than no book at all.
For our July 13th meeting, please read the following from The Waters of Siloe:
Note on the function of a contemplative order
I. Monasticism; St. Benedict; The Cistercians
II. De Rance and La Trappe
III. The Dispersal; First Trappist in America
IV. Foundations in Kentucky and Illinois
That adds up to about 82 pages. Very do-able in the time allotted before our next meeting.
After Siloe, the next books we’ll read will be:
New Seeds of Contemplation (originally written in 1949 as Seeds of Contemplation, revised in 1962 as New Seeds of Contemplation)
Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (published 1966)
In that order.
That should take us through the end of the year, at least. Probably into next year, even.
As you can see, our group has even more fascinating discussions ahead, and perhaps a few surprises as well.
You won’t want to miss any of the fun!
We’ll see you at our July 13th meeting, which will be held at 7pm at Orchard View Church at 3-Mile and Leffingwell, which is located here:
Orchard View Church of God
2777 Leffingwell Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Orchard View Church of God is located at the corner of 3-Mile Rd and Leffingwell in the northeast section of Grand Rapids. Easy access is via the East Beltline. Get off at the 3-Mile Road exit. Leffingwell is on the south side of 3-Mile Road between the East Beltline and Dean Lake Road. (You can see the church from 3-Mile Road.)