Simply Merton, by Linus Mundy

September 11, 2014

Thomas Merton poured out his restless, searching, and wondering soul in his journals, which add up to more than a million words. Another monk once asked him why he wrote everything down. “If you don’t, it is lost,” Merton replied. Mundy organizes Merton’s reflections according to 15 different themes, such as simplicity, becoming one’s true self, nonviolence, prayer and contemplation, and silence and solitude. There was a time when some of Merton’s journals were restricted, but now they are all available. He must have sensed that someday people would be interested in reading his journals; in fact, some were published during his lifetime. Yet in these writings the reader discovers a transparency rare among religious writers. One Merton quote must suffice: “The spiritual life is something that people worry about when they are so busy with something else they think they ought to be doing.”

Comments

"a transparency rare"

Merton a wonderful, quiet communicator, a blessing in my life.
And I enjoy books about him, Monica Furlong's biography; Rowan Williams' A Silent Action: Engagements with Thomas Merton.
The committee selecting introductory quotes for the Green Bible included one from Merton's Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander: "One has to be alone, under the sky, before everything falls into place and one finds his own place in the midst of it all."
Simply Merton is a nice title. I think we get a close look at Merton's awareness that everyone has a place in his poem "Our Lady of Cobre." Perhaps Linus Mundy considers his poetry in this text.
Best wishes.