When the Trees Say Nothing

Writings on Nature
Author: Thomas Merton
Illustrated by: John Giuliani
Foreword by: Thomas Berry
Edited by: Kathleen Deignan

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: February 16, 2015

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First published in 2003 and now available in paperback to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of Thomas Merton’s birth, When the Trees Say Nothing has sold more than 60,000 copies and continually inspires readers with its unique collection of Merton’s luminous writings on nature, arranged for reflection and meditation.

Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk, author, poet, social commentator, and perhaps the most influential and widely published spiritual writer of the twentieth century. In When the Trees Say Nothing, editor Kathleen Deignan sheds new light on Merton by focusing on a neglected theme of his writing: the natural world as a manifestation of the divine.

Drawing from Merton’s voluminous writing on nature, Deignan has thematically assembled a collection of lucid, poetic reflections. Chapters on the four elements, the seasons, the Earth and its creatures, and the sun, moon, and stars provide brief passages from his diverse works that reveal the presence of God in creation.

Features & Benefits:

  • Kathleen Deignan’s second Merton book, A Book of Hours, has sold more than 58,000 copies since its release in 2007.
  • January 31, 2015, is the centenary of Merton’s birth. There will be numerous conferences and lectures throughout the year celebrating his life and legacy.

Product Details

Pages: 192

Trim size: 5 x 7 inches

ISBN: 9781933495903

Imprint: Sorin Books

  • “A lovely book!”

    “A lovely book! Kathleen Deignan’s selection and arrangement of passages from Merton’s writings on nature—enhanced by John Giuliani’s evocative drawings—not only provide wonderful insights into the monks sacramental vision of the world, but also inspire a deepened attentiveness to creation on our own part as well.”

    Patrick O’Connell
    Editor of The Merton Seasonal
    Coauthor of The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia

  • “A handsome book for all seasons.”

    “This splendid volume by Kathleen Deignan evokes the sense of the sacred. Merton’s carefully chosen texts on nature are wedded with John Giuliani’s drawings, resulting in a handsome book for all seasons.”

    Br. Patrick Hart, O.C.S.O.
    Abbey of Gethsemani
    General Editor of The Journals of Thomas Merton

  • “Merton would be thrilled with this book.”

    “A vivid image in my memory: Thomas Merton standing in a redwoods clearing. ‘Here is where everything connects,’ he says softly. If you long to find this connecting point, read on. Merton would be thrilled with this book.”

    Br. David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B.
    Cofounder of gratefulness.org

  • “Merton’s gift . . . is this sense of the sacred throughout the entire range of the natural world.”

    “An absence of a sense of the sacred is the basic flaw in many of our efforts at ecologically or environmentally adjusting our human presence to the natural world. It has been said, ‘We will not save what we do not love.’ It is also true that we will neither love nor save what we do not experience as sacred. In our present attitude the natural world remains a commodity to be bought and sold, not a sacred reality to be venerated. Eventually only our sense of the sacred will save us. Merton’s gift, eloquently captured by Kathleen Deignan, is this sense of the sacred throughout the entire range of the natural world.”

    Thomas Berry (1914-2009)
    Passionist Priest
    Expert on Ecology and World Religions
    From the Foreword

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A Book of Hours
Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire
Thomas Merton: A Life in Letters
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