I just came across a book by Frank X. Tuoti, entitled Why Not Be a Mystic? (Crossroad, 1995). This book is chalk full of references to mysticism – especially the brand of interfaith mysticism popularized by Thomas Merton. Crossroad is a Catholic publisher; Tuoti’s book is obviously addressed to “Christians” (Catholic and Protestant).
The back cover states:
“Frank X. Tuoti, a former Trappist who lived and studied with [Catholic/Buddhist mystic] Thomas Merton and now lives in Tuscon, Arizona, teaches Centering Prayer and offers retreats on Christian mysticism and the spirituality of the Desert and Eastern Church Fathers. He is a member of the Tuscon Society of Spiritual Directors.”
The top of the front cover says: “In THE COMING AGE [emphasis mine], we must all become mystics – or become nothing at all”- Karl Rahner. And the page immediately following the dedication says simply: “The only cure for the angst of modern man is mysticism” – Thomas Merton.
Following is a review of Tuoti’s book by some New Agers. [I do not recommend this website, but for researchers it provides a search window which leads to a great deal of info on labyrinths, centering prayer, etc.]
Why Not Be a Mystic? (Crossroad, 1995)
This book makes a good case for partaking in this spiritual adventure. The author, a former Trappist monk who lived and studied with Thomas Merton, writes clearly and cogently about mysticism as the high point of the Christian calling. It is not just reserved for monks and nuns. The mystical state involves “an experience of God in a gifted intuition” and “a response to the habitual presence of God.” Tuoti examines the spiritual benefits of silence, prayer, the awakened heart, and the link between contemplation and compassion. The mystical dimension of faith, according to the author, will be the deep and life-renewing wellspring of Christianity in the years to come.
In 1997, Tuoti became even more bold, showing the interfaith and New Age agenda of Merton and himself. Check out the New Age review of Tuoti’s followup book:
The Dawn of the Mystical Age (Crossroad, 1997)
In a follow-up to Why Not Be a Mystic? retreat leader Frank X. Tuoti has written this book. He believes that we have already entered a new era of higher consciousness [the New Age] characterized by the rediscovery of the sacred feminine, a democratization of spirituality, an emphasis upon the intuitive faculties of the right brain, a yearning for world peace, and a journey into the mystery of our inner selves.
This dawning of the mystical age, according to Tuoti, is already sending ripples of change throughout Catholicism even though the hierarchy is still trying to hold on to power. He notes, “the church will undergo considerable pain and anguish as it moves into THE NEW AGE [emphasis mine].” Tuoti peppers this invitation to enlightenment with quotations from some of his favorite seers including the German Jesuit mystic and Zen master Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle, philosopher Karl Jaspers, mystic Andrew Harvey, Catholic thinker Teilhard de Chardin, Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, Indian poet Rabindranth Tagore, and Sannyasin Bede Griffiths.
Amazon lists these as the only published books by Tuoti. Yet I found the following book at:
Awakening the Mystic Within, by Frank X. Tuoti
This generous collection of beautiful and inspiring reflections is designed to fire the hearts and stir the souls of those beginning the contemplative journey. Leads small faith-sharing communities to investigate the rich mystical heritage and tradition of the Catholic Church. (6 sessions)
A more recent reference to Tuoti is found at:
[The newsletter is full of references to Thomas Merton and his interfaith teachings. And Tuoti is still devoted to Merton as we see here]:
Merton Happenings: On April 8 , Frank Tuoti gave a presentation on “Thomas Merton: The Jesus Lama” at the Episcopal Church of the Apostles in Tucson.
And a 2010 person search points to info showing Tuoti is age 82 and possibly living in Tuscon, AZ:
Let us turn our sights to Thomas Merton himself. What Richard Foster and Renovare is to evangelical Contemplative Spirituality, Thomas Merton is to Catholic Contemplative Spirituality and interfaith Contemplative Spirituality.
For a bio of Merton, see:
The Merton Center is a good starting point for researching what these Contemplative Spirituality apostates are up to currently. And it paints a picture of where evangelical contemplatives are headed in their slide into apostasy.
Click here for an excellent, detailed Christian expose of Thomas Merton.