Entering the Silence: Becoming a Monk and a Writer (The Journals of Thomas Merton)

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9780060654771: Entering the Silence: Becoming a Monk and a Writer (The Journals of Thomas Merton)

The second volume of Thomas Merton's "gusty, passionate journals" (Thomas Moore) chronicles Merton's advancements to priesthood and emergence as a bestselling author with the surprise success of his autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain. Spanning an eleven-year period, Entering the Silence reflects Merton's struggle to balance his vocation to solitude with the budding literary career that would soon established him as one of the most important spiritual writers of our century.

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From the Publisher:

"Let me keep silence in this world, except in so far as God wills and in the way He wills it. Let me at least disappear into the writing I do. It should mean nothing special to me, nor harm my recollection. The work could be a prayer; its results should not concern me."-Thomas Merton, December 14, 1946

During his arduous days and nights in the silence of the monastery, the young Thomas Merton simultaneously advanced to priesthood and emerged as a surprising bestselling author when his spiritual autobiography, The Seven Story Mountain, was published in 1948. Spanning the journal entries in an eleven-year period from December 12, 1941 to July 5, 1952, Entering the Silence unfolds Merton's budding literary career and the development of his spiritual ideas in a uniquely personal literary style that would propel his writings into the mainstream. As the demands of his literary success rose, so did the tensions between remaining an observant monk and a talented, prolific writer. Faithful to both of these passions, Merton struggled with the requirements of daily monastic life while he continued to grace the world with his fresh observations and profound insights.

This second volume in the Merton journals includes passionate descriptions of monastic life -- silence, chanting, farm work, the community of monks -- and touchingly exhibits the young priest's dedication to writing. "At work -- writing -- I am doing a little better. I mean, I am less tied up in it, more peaceful and detached. Taking one thing at a time and going over it slowly and patiently and forgetting the other jobs that have to take their turn."

As Merton's talent as a writer blossomed, he eloquently reconciled his spiritual life with his writing life, drawing deep connection between the two.

About the Author:

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) is widely regarded as one of the most influential spiritual writers of modern times. He was a Trappist monk, writer, and peace and civil rights activist. His bestselling books include The Seven-Storey Mountain, New Seeds of Contemplation, and Mystics and Zen Masters.

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