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The topic of inwardness in Catholic spirituality is discussed by some of the greatest saints: St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross—both Carmelites—expound on how we are to enter into union with God by removing our attachments to the things external to us and focusing on Christ in us.
This focus on contemplative prayer—often controversial in nature—has been picked up and discussed by various theologians throughout the centuries. Part of this controversy is due to the very personal nature of prayer and the questions that arise from deeply subjective experiences: How does one discuss the ineffable? What are the right and wrong ways to pray?
In the twentieth century, Thomas Merton and Thomas Keating both contributed to the tradition of contemplative prayer and living, adding both insight and often-controversial points in this dynamic discussion. Both authors draw on the historical tradition of interior and mystical prayer, gleaning from sources such as The Cloud of Unknowing.
Even so, both Merton’s and Keating’s works are sometimes found in the midst of theological controversy. Thomas Dubay makes a rather open critique of Keating’s works and presents alternative contemplative methods in Deep Conversion / Deep Prayer. Some of Merton’s later works have also sparked a discussion about syncretism. But in no way do these controversies make these collections less valuable.
In Verbum, these collections become part of the discussion that exists within the Church. Cross-reference Scripture and Church documents that both Merton and Keating mention. With the Cited By tool, you can see everywhere in your library that either Merton or Keating are mentioned, so you can see what other authors have said about these two figures.