Category Archives: Peace

Merton Makes A Quiet Impact in Ireland…

Merton Makes A Quiet Impact in Ireland….


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Filed under Contemplative Prayer, Inter-Faith, Ireland, Meditation, Merton, Monastic Life, Peace, Retreat

May Merton Fellowship Day Retreat

Bethlehem Abbey Portglenone

Bethlehem Abbey Portglenone (photo by Scott Peddie)

The next Merton Fellowship meeting will take place on Sat 3rd May at Bethlehem Abbey, home of the Cistercians in Portglenone, Co. Antrim. The retreat will run from 10am – 4pm.

The program for the day will include contemplative prayer, walking meditation, lectio divina, poetry reflection and discussion. The title of the retreat is ‘Learning from the Monastic Experience’; it will be lead by Scott Peddie and Columba O’Neill OCSO.

To book your place, please contact me via e-mail at Thanks!

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Filed under Contemplative Prayer, Ireland, Meditation, Merton, Monastic Life, Peace, Poetry, Retreat

Forthcoming Merton Fellowship Retreat

Dear Friends,

The next Merton Fellowship day retreat will be held on Saturday 10th November 2012 at McCracken Memorial Presbyterian Church,  161 Malone Road, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT9 6TA (

The topic of the retreat is ‘Encountering Merton: Personal Reflections‘; it will begin at 10am and finish at 4pm, with refreshments provided (please bring a packed lunch).

As with all of our activities, it is open to all, regardless of denominational/faith group affiliation or knowledge of Merton and his work. An interest in peace and contemplative prayer/meditation is all that is required.

To book your place, please contact me at

Peace and blessings, Scott

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Filed under Belfast, Contemplative Prayer, Inter-Faith, Meditation, Peace, Retreat

Contemplating Contemplation

The question is often asked: ‘do we need contemplative monastics in the modern age?’ Merton was the prime example of the perfect answer to such a question: without contemplation, Merton’s activism would have atrophied and his stance on peace and non-violence would have lost the spiritual pillars that supported it.

The renowned Protestant theologian Jurgen Moltmann made this astute observation:

Christian responsibility for the world requires an ethics for changing the world, based on the righteousness and peace which we believe in and try to live, in the discipleship of Christ.  For that reason Catholic worldwide Christianity needs the Christianity of the monastic orders, and Protestant Christianity needs the historical peace churches as orientation for the far-off goal from which the immediate goals must take their direction. Without the great alternative, small steps in the direction of more justice and righteousness and more peace in the world will have no orientation, and will lose hope; but without practical changes in the world the great alternative will become irrelevant. (Jurgen Moltmann, 2012: Ethics of Hope).

I would add that the Protestant contemplative tradition also needs to be reinvigorated, working hand-in-hand with their  Catholic brothers and sisters.  The Merton Fellowship in Ireland is a good start at doing just that.  So whatever your background, please consider joining us!

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Filed under Meditation, Membership, Peace

Merton and the Dalai Lama

Here is an interesting short piece on Merton and his relationship with the Dalai Lama, including an interview with the latter. A real example of substantive inter-faith dialogue:

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Filed under Buddhism, Dalai Lama, Inter-Faith, Meditation, Peace