What if we truly belong to each other? What if we are all walking around shining like the sun? Mystic, monk, and activist Thomas Merton asked those questions in the twentieth century. Writer Sophfronia Scott is asking them today. In The Seeker and the Monk, Scott mines the extensive private journals of one of the most influential contemplative thinkers of the past for guidance on how to live in these fraught times. As a Black woman who is not Catholic, Scott both learns from and pushes back against Merton, holding spirited, and intimate conversations on race, ambition, faith, activism, nature, prayer, friendship, and love. She asks: What is the connection between contemplation and action? Is there ever such a thing as a wrong answer to a spiritual question? How do we care about the brutality in the world while not becoming overwhelmed by it? By engaging in this lively discourse, readers will gain a steady sense of how to dwell more deeply within--and even to love--this despairing and radiant world.