Chautard/Merton: The Spirit of Simplicity
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Few people have ever seen or heard of The Spirit of Simplicity: it has been hidden for almost seventy years after quietly being published by the Abbey of Gethsemani in 1948. Anonymously translated and annotated by a young monk named Thomas Merton, the book's author--who also is not mentioned by name in the original edition--is Jean-Baptiste Chautard, the famous French Cistercian whose only other book, The Soul of the Apostolate, has been a favorite of modern saints and popes, including Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Every generation struggles with the question of simplicity. In the history of our faith, there have been no more eloquent voices calling us back to simplicity than the monks of the Cistercian Order, from Bernard of Clairvaux to Chautard to Merton--all of whom contribute to this powerful book.
Merton surrounds Chautard's text with his own remarks on simplicity, translations of classic texts by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, and commentary that allows readers to pursue the themes of simplicity in their own lives.