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Entering the Silence: Becoming a Monk and Writer: 1941-1952

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"Inexorably life moves on towards crisis and mystery. Everyone must struggle to adjust himself to this, to face the situation for 'now is the judgment of the world.' In a way, each one judges himself merely by what he does. Does, not says. Yet let us not completely dismiss words. They do have meaning. They are related to action. They spring from action and they prepare for it, they clarify it, they direct it." --Thomas Merton, August 16, 1961

The fourth volume of Thomas Merton's...

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1996 Hardcover Hardcover. NEW BOOK! Shipped via USPS with Delivery Confirm for all US orders to include the continental 48 states plus Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, Puerto Rico, ... American Samoa, US Virgin Islands and all APO & FPO military addresses. Orders are shipped from San Francisco, CA. International orders are shipped via USPS AIRMAIL LETTER POST in most cases and usually takes 7-14 days to arrive depending on how backed up your local Customs Office is. All orders processed within 2 business days, with most o. Read more Show Less

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NY 1996 Hardcover 1st Edition New in New jacket Book. 12mo-over 6?-7?" tall. This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition (1st printing). Volume Two of "The Journals)

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1996 Hard cover NEW, Hardcover edition, . ISBN 0060654767 New in new dust jacket. NEW, Hardcover edition, . ISBN 0060654767 Sewn binding. Paper over boards. Contains: ... Illustrations. Journals of Thomas Merton, 2. Audience: General/trade. NEW, Hardcover edition, . ISBN 0060654767 Read more Show Less

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Overview

"Inexorably life moves on towards crisis and mystery. Everyone must struggle to adjust himself to this, to face the situation for 'now is the judgment of the world.' In a way, each one judges himself merely by what he does. Does, not says. Yet let us not completely dismiss words. They do have meaning. They are related to action. They spring from action and they prepare for it, they clarify it, they direct it." --Thomas Merton, August 16, 1961

The fourth volume of Thomas Merton's complete journals, one of his final literary legacies, springs from three hundred handwritten pages that capture - in candid, lively, deeply revealing passages - the growing unrest of the 1960s, which Merton witnessed within himself as plainly as in the changing culture around him.

In these decisive years, 1960-1963, Merton, now in his late forties and frequently working in a new hermitage at the Abbey of Gethsemani, finds himself struggling between his longing for a private, spiritual life and the irresistible pull of social concerns. Precisely when he longs for more solitude, and convinces himself he could not cut back on his writing, Merton begins asking complex questions about the contemporary culture ("the 'world' with its funny pants, of which I do not know the name, its sandals and sunglasses"), war, and the churches role in society.

Thus despite his resistance, he is drawn into the world where his celebrity and growing concerns for social issues fuel his writings on civil rights, nonviolence, and pacifism and lead him into conflict with those who urge him to leave the moral issues to bishops and theologians.

This pivotal volume in the Merton journals reveals a man at the height of a brilliant writing career, marking the fourteenth anniversary of his priesthood but yearning still for the key to true happiness and grace. Here, in his most private diaries, Merton is as intellectually curious, critical, and insightful as in his best-known public writings while he documents his movement from the cloister toward the world, from Novice Master to hermit, from ironic critic to joyous witness to the mystery of God's plan.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Trappist monk, writer and peace activist. His spiritual classics include New Seeds of Contemplation, The Sign of Jonas, Mystics and Zen Masters and The Seven Story Mountain

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Editorial Reviews

Steve Schroeder
Like the first two volumes of Merton's journals, this third volume is full of insight into his life and work. Readers will be grateful that when it came to his journals, Merton's Trappist silence did not leave him speechless. In a 1956 entry, he notes that he had "always wanted to write about everything" --not to write a book that "covers everything" or contains everything, but "a book in which everything can go." The journals accomplish this largely by avoiding what he refers to (in a 1958 entry) as "the apostolate of alienation and hatred," a "mania for making everyone else like oneself." Merton's great gift, which shines through in the bits and pieces of his journals even more than in his finished work, is an ability to listen and respond to a world in which everything does go. Lawrence Cunningham notes in his introduction that Merton's journals are full of reflection on what it means to be a monk. In this volume, as in the second one, that reflection plays a major role in shaping his discernment of the world and his place in it. This volume maintains the high standards established in the first two and will leave readers anxiously anticipating the remaining four.
Kirkus Reviews
This volume of journals reveals Merton in his late 40s, already pulled by the tension between spiritual interiority and social activism that was to characterize his final years.

By 1960 Merton was an internationally renowned figure. His bestselling Seven-Storey Mountain (1948) had been ranked alongside St. Augustine's Confessions, and in a steady stream of books and articles he had explored monastic spirituality in a way that seemed fresh and relevant to a wide public. The themes in this volume of his journals show a definite shift away from his earlier otherworldliness. Kramer (English/Georgia State Univ.) has divided the manuscript chronologically into four parts. We see Merton at last obtaining the unusual permission from his abbott at Gethsemani to live in a hermitage, yet meeting a growing number of thinkers and representatives of other faiths in his retreat. Even before Vatican II begins, he is involved in the issues of liturgical reform, ecumenism, and especially the Church's attitude to the modern world. The Cuban missile crisis and the apparent inevitability of nuclear war loom large. Merton considers the need for Christians, including himself, to speak out against the Vietnam War and social segregation, while the writings of Hannah Arendt and the Eichmann case force him to think more deeply about the Catholic understanding of obedience. These pages are characterized more by breadth than depth. Although there is much personal questioning, spiritual musing, and notes from Merton's extensive reading and worldwide correspondence, most readers would do better to turn to Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (1966), which contains the developed fruits of these jottings.

Strictly for Merton connoisseurs.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060654764
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/1/1995
  • Series: Journals of Thomas Merton , #2
  • Pages: 501
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 1.66 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
The Scribe's Introduction
Pt. I The Novitiate Journal: December 1941-April 1942 1
Pt. II A Journal-Memoir: Dom Frederic Dunne: October 1946-August 1948 13
Pt. III The Whale and the Ivy: December 1946-July 1952 29
The Daily Schedule at Gethsemani During the 1940s 489
A Glossary of Monastic Terms 490
Index 493
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