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By Mark Shaw

Thomas Merton is the main influential American Catholic writer of the 20th century, referred to as the “most vital religious author of the 20th century.” To his legion of fans, he looked to be a relaxed, contented monk advocating the contemplative existence, yet in 1966 he used to be a stricken, 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 discovered the right way to love, and be enjoyed. merely while the ache Merton fell head over heels in love with a scholar nurse, a forbidden, erotic affair condemned by means of the Catholic Church, might he detect no matter if his devotion to God used to be enhanced than his commitment to the girl he known as "a miracle in my life." really an inspirational tale according to Merton's own journals, new info and assets reminiscent of fellow clergymen, underneath the masks of Holiness offers a distinct portrayal of the recognized guy, one by no means printed in its entirety ahead of.

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

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He had feelings of shame and despair early each morning, when he saw laborers headed for work who, unlike him, had some sense of purpose. He was humiliated and felt worthless, triggering him to remark, “I was spiritually dead. ”24 Death once again knocked at Merton’s door when first grandfather Pop died, followed shortly by Bonnemaman. Merton was left, at age 21, with no mother, no father, and no grandparents on his mother’s side to guide his path, or provide family support. Except for his brother, John Paul, grandparents far away in New Zealand, and Tom Bennett, now a distant memory in England, Merton was alone, without anyone to act as his moral, ethical, or spiritual compass.

Tom) Bennett, an old friend of Owen’s from New Zealand and Merton’s godfather. 36 The predicted death occurred in 1931. Merton recalled his father as a man with a wonderful mind, a great talent, and a great heart, and the man who had brought him into the world. 37 Owen’s death left Merton saddened and depressed. ” —Thomas Merton, 19301 M erton’s admiration for the London-born writer William Blake, who was influenced by a fascination for mysticism and the unfolding of the Romantic movement surrounding him, did not mean Merton understood the poet.

His mother painted in the shadows of the hills while his father preferred working in the sunlight. ” His mother was not interested in churches or any sort of formal religion, but his father was a devout believer, in accordance with the doctrines of the Church of England. ”19 The book did not explain who the devils, or vampires, were. ” His grandfather was an exciting man who exhibited authority. His grandmother was more low-key. Merton’s first home was in Douglaston, New York, where his father was a landscape gardener.

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