By Mark Shaw
Thomas Merton is the main influential American Catholic writer of the 20 th century, known as the “most vital religious author of the 20th century.” To his legion of fans, he looked to be a calm, contented monk advocating the contemplative lifestyles, yet in 1966 he used to be a bothered, lonely monk—sad, demoralized, guilt-stricken, and depressed over prior sins. regardless of being promoted via the Catholic Church as its nice instructor and thinker, Merton struggled together with his irreverent habit towards girls and not having discovered tips to love, and be enjoyed. purely while the ache Merton fell head over heels in love with a scholar nurse, a forbidden, erotic affair condemned through the Catholic Church, may he observe no matter if his devotion to God was once enhanced 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 details and resources akin to fellow clergymen, underneath the masks of Holiness offers a different portrayal of the recognized guy, one by no means printed in its entirety earlier than.
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Extra resources for Beneath the Mask of Holiness: Thomas Merton and the Forbidden Love Affair that Set Him Free
Francis of Assisi on 31st Street. Mixed news awaited Merton when Father Edmund told him the order could accept him, but not until the following August. Merton was pleased with the potential to apply, but disappointed with the time frame suggested. 3 Merton’s spiritual journey received a boost when he discovered the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. To read them in silence, he escaped to his apartment, which was away from the noisy streets. Then Merton the aspiring priest became Merton the teacher when he instructed ﬁrst a class in English composition (English 201–202) and then one on grammar, at the Columbia School of Business.
16 Subsequent irreverent conduct, including heavy drinking at noisy bars and taverns on seedy streets and back alleys, where temptation lurked at every turn, earned the Cambridge student an order to report to London for a meeting with his godfather, Tom Bennett. Merton’s memory of the meeting was unpleasant because the short time the two spent together was quite painful. Merton admitted he made little sense in explaining his conduct. But he did not take Bennett’s warnings about his conduct to heart, and Bennett later ordered him out of Clare and off to America.
He noted the professor’s love of teaching and his love for the subjects he taught: literature and poetry. His admiration for Van Doren, who also taught Jack Kerouac, coincided with Merton’s sudden interest in Communism. He attended a gathering hosted by the Communist Party, but was disappointed 35 BENEATH t h e MASK o f HOLINESS no alcohol was served. One of the partygoers ﬁnally encouraged him to buy bottles of rye at a nearby liquor store. Stoked by a few drinks, he was escorted into a room where he signed up as a member of the Young Communist League.
Beneath the Mask of Holiness: Thomas Merton and the Forbidden Love Affair that Set Him Free by Mark Shaw