No Man is an Island

My friend Kurt suggested the Thomas Merton book No Man Is an Island when I asked about books on hope. At first I resisted because it didn’t strike me as being focused on the Journey of Hope theme. I read the book years ago and it just didn’t seem like a good fit. But Kurt knows his stuff and is better read than I am, so it made the list.

It was great to read it again. The book is filled with themes of hope. Even in the prologue it begins with, “No matter how ruined man and his world may seem to be, and no matter how terrible man’s despair may become, as long as he continues to be a man his very humanity continues to tell him that life has a meaning.”

Each of the sixteen essays, on such topics as Sincerity, Mercy, and Vocation, have a hopeful quality about the human spiritual life. There is an assurance here that comes from the faith of the author, which of course stems from the God of his faith.

As with past reviews, I’m going to let the author speak for himself by posting a few quotes:

“What do I mean by loving ourselves properly? I mean, first of all, desiring to live, accepting life as a very great gift and a great good, not because of what it gives us, but because of what it enables us to give to others.”

“We are not perfectly free until we live in pure hope.”

“Hope deprives us of everything that is not God, in order that all things may serve their true purpose as means to bring us to God.”

“It would be a sin to place any limit upon our hope in God.”

“Hope is the living heart of asceticism.”

This is a powerful, classic work by a deeply thoughtful man of God. There are many topics beyond hope, of course. But at the core of the book is a longing for God, a longing that is powered by the hope Merton has in God. You finish the book feeling challenged, enriched, and eager.

To read more books in my Journey of Hope theme, check these out:

Seeds of Hope

Finding Faith in the Dark

Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands

Journey of Hope

Keeping Hope Alive

The Colors of Hope



Make an Impact on Trafficking


Yesterday I was reading the morning news and my eye caught the headline “Sex Trafficking: Lifelong Struggle of Exploited Children” on There was an accompanying article about trafficking of children becoming an “epidemic” across the USA, which is distressing. And the truth is the trafficking issue is much, much worse in places like Thailand…. Read More

Dead Wake


So what do you know about the Lusitania? A week ago if you asked me about it about all I would have said is, “It was a big ship. It sank sometime around World War I. Lots of people died. Didn’t the Germans sink it?” I know, pitiful. Erik Larson, author of numerous bestsellers and… Read More

Wine Buying Tips by Vintage


A lot of people have asked me for wine buying tips. It’s a tough question because each label is different, each palate is different, and obviously I’m not an expert. BUT…I can always try, right? So here are some basics I’ve been using lately when buying California wines. These are tips gathered from people smarter… Read More

Your Eulogy


I’m sitting in the restaurant of the Bull Frog Inn, Belmopan, Belize. It’s a great place to buy a diet coke and get free wireless. The downside? They play a local radio station that is addicted to Taylor Swift. Another curious thing about the radio station is they periodically broadcast eulogies of local people who… Read More

Invest in Prevention


My daughter’s organization, The SOLD Project, is expanding! Please watch the video below and help them do even more in their prevention efforts. Human trafficking and child exploitation are evil institutions, and she needs your help. The best way is by giving through this Global Giving page. D’Aun and I are planning a visit to Northern… Read More

Fueling Ambition


This afternoon an email arrived from the PathLight Belize Field Director. He said 27 new first year students have been admitted to the Sponsorship+ program, the largest class in PathLight’s history. How cool is that?!? Did you know you can help for just $35 a month? The Fueling Ambition program is designed to help these… Read More