By Mark Shaw

Thomas Merton is the main influential American Catholic writer of the 20 th century, referred to as the “most vital religious author of the 20th century.” To his legion of fans, he a relaxed, contented monk advocating the contemplative existence, yet in 1966 he used to be a , lonely monk—sad, demoralized, guilt-stricken, and depressed over earlier sins. regardless of being promoted by way of the Catholic Church as its nice instructor and thinker, Merton struggled together with his irreverent habit towards ladies and not having realized tips on how to love, and be enjoyed. simply whilst the anguish Merton fell head over heels in love with a scholar nurse, a forbidden, erotic affair condemned by means of the Catholic Church, may he realize no matter if his devotion to God was once better than his commitment to the lady he referred to as "a miracle in my life." actually an inspirational tale in line with Merton's own journals, new info and resources similar to fellow priests, underneath the masks of Holiness offers a different portrayal of the well-known guy, one by no means printed in its entirety sooner than.

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Extra resources for Beneath the Mask of Holiness: Thomas Merton and the Forbidden Love Affair that Set Him Free

Example text

And he knew it. Fortunately, Merton told what was promoted as his own, “uncensored” story, presumably the truth, at least through his eyes and his editors’, in seven volumes of journals finally released over several years in the 1990s. At Merton’s request, the journals could not be published until twenty-five years after his death. The historical importance of the journals cannot be underestimated: the entries were apparently written as events unfolded, or within close proximity, unlike SSM text written many years after those events occurred.

The priest had decided that Merton led an unsettled life filled with confusion. He then informed the dour would-be monk that the novitiate was now full and intimated that when this occurred, he had to be careful not to admit people who didn’t measure up. 11 Merton was confused and dazed as he walked across Seventh Avenue to the Church of the Capuchins. There, in the dimmed light, he attempted to 45 BENEATH t h e MASK o f HOLINESS disclose the source of his furrowed brow in confession to a “thin, bearded priest who looked something like James Joyce,” but his jumbled words caused him to mix up the facts.

17 25 BENEATH t h e MASK o f HOLINESS Merton was born of artistic parents, Owen and Ruth. He compared his father’s talent to that of Cézanne, and thanked him for being religious and a man of integrity. He noted his mother’s versatility and dissatisfaction with a confused world. 18 Owen Merton was a New Zealander, and Ruth, American. His parents had met in Paris, where both were studying art. Their marriage resulted in Thomas’ birth of Bohemian cloth in Prades, France. ” His mother painted in the shadows of the hills while his father preferred working in the sunlight.

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