224 of 228 people found the following review helpful
a wry blessing..,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Seven Storey Mountain (Harvest/HBJ Book) (Paperback)
Thomas Merton's early years gave no clue as to the vast richness of spirit and intellect he would develop through out his life and share through his writings. He was the son of an itinerant painter, had an upbringing with little or no religious character, was a nondescript student, a rabble rouser.. not even a Catholic.. who at a point in his early manhood left the fast life of New York and knocked on the doors of a Kentucky monastery, to give over his life to austere ascetic contemplation.. and profound internal enrichment. Seven Story Mountain has been compared to the Confessions of Augustine, but these books are of different timber. Merton's is a story told at a personal level, of a spiritual journey in a modern context. It does not try to compete with Augustine's intense intellectual and theological reasoning, preferring to dwell on the challenges and joys of religious life, and more generally the meaning and responsibilities of all lives. You can't read this book without being charmed and blessed by the proximity to this rare bit of humanity and devotion in our very secular and material age.
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Initial post: Dec 1, 2010 1:17:38 PM PST
Thomas Merton was a writer at an early age, long before he joined the church. The clues are there, to be sure, of his vast literary and intellectual prowess. It didn't just "happen" when he joined the monastic life.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2015 5:14:55 PM PST
Lots of young writers,,,but few get the fuel that Merton got from the contemplation offered by a cloister. The man, the monk and the profound writer are intertwined
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