It is Well with my Soul BYU Vocal Point

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Intimate Merton, A Review

The Intimate MertonThe Intimate Merton by Thomas Merton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I respect Merton as a writer and as a man of God...I was somewhat disappointed in this, his last set of journals (edited). The last entry in the book was the date of his death. While i know that he was accidentally electrocuted I sort of expected some sort of explanation at the end of the book by the editors. But no, he stepped out of the room for a moment and never came back.

The theme of this book was the constant push and pull he felt between his vocation as a world renowned writer/mystic and the call he felt in his soul to be a hermit, completely secluded from even the setting of the monastery where he was a Trappist monk. The monastery, in an effort to keep him contented built him a hermitage where he spent some contented days....but even in his "contentment" there was a constant bickering in his soul saying "is this really what I want? Wouldn't THIS be better? Is this really what God wants? Or should I pitch the whole endeavor?" He travels to meet the Delhi Lama and also goes to India. He is equally torn in spirit between Eastern mysticism and traditional Catholicism.

He was NOT a man at rest or at peace or at ease in his own soul. It was exhausting to read his constant questioning of his calling. Because of that, it was not a very pleasurable or even an enlightening book to read.

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