Advent and Christmas: Bridges to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton

Oblate School of Theology

November 8 @ 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Recurring Event (See all) $30.00

Originally Published on

Tuesdays, Nov 8 – Dec 13 | 1:00PM – 3:00PM Central Time | ONLINE EVENT VIA ZOOM

Bridges to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton is a small group experience that invites people into contemplative dialogue. The course is rooted in a series of readings from a book edited by Jonathan Montaldo and Robert G. Toth of the Merton Institute for Contemplative Living. The text explores aspects of contemplation and the meaning of contemplative living. Each week a reading from Thomas Merton is read and discussed. Short readings from other Christian and non-Christian wisdom figures are also studied.

This series gently leads participants on a path toward personal spiritual transformation and a more contemplative and peace-filled life. The Advent and Christmas book offers an introduction to Merton and contemplative living through a collection of five sets of weekly readings that include prayers, Psalms, selections from Merton and other spiritual writers, and participation in small group dialogue. Advent is explored as a time of preparation for Christmas.

Participants will need a copy of Advent and Christmas (Bridges to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton) for the assigned readings of the course. Please note: This text has recently gone out of print. If a participant is unable to purchase a copy (from or other online book retailers), a scanned copy will be provided to the participant at no cost.

At each session we will:

— begin with the quieting of our minds by using prayerful reflection rooted in the Psalms

— spend time listening to and reflecting on the voice of Thomas Merton as well as other wisdom figures

— take time to write down our personal reflections

— participate in small group discussions

— close with prayer

Class Dates

All classes will take place on Tuesday afternoons, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Central Time, ONLINE via Zoom.

Portions of each class session will be recorded and made available to registered participants through December 27, 2022. Please note that periods of participants’ sharing in small and large group settings will not be recorded. In general, the following portions of each class session will be recorded: opening prayer, period of silence, body prayer, journaling period, and teaching period.

Advent and Christmas: Bridges to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton

Session 1November 8Introduction
Session 2November 15Advent: Hope
Session 3November 22Advent: Salvation
Session 4November 29Advent: Compassion
Session 5December 6Advent: Tenderness
Session 6December 13Christmas: The Word Made Flesh


Thomas C. Langham has a deep interest in the application of the principles and insights of contemplative living to daily life. He grew up in the culturally fluid world of southern and central California in the 1960s. This led to his interest in social thought and spirituality which he developed through obtaining a BA in Anthropology and MA in History at San Diego State University and Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught at the University of South Dakota, McNeese State University, and Our Lady of the Lake University. He served at Our Lady of the Lake as the chair of the Sociology Department and authored over fifty publications on the borderlands, rural life, social thought, and popular religion. He has deepened his knowledge of social life and religious experience through travel in more than fifty countries. He presently lives in Taos, New Mexico.

Registration Fee: $30 (fee includes cost for entire 6-week series)

Please note: We will send you a Zoom link and login instructions via email approximately one week before the series begins.

For information or to register by phone, contact Victoria Luna, Director of Continuing Education, at or (210) 341-1366 EXT 325.