The Secular Journal of Thomas Merton by Thomas Merton
New York : Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1959. Hardcover. 270 pages ; 21 cm. $3.75 dust jacket with foxing to the verso and light foxing to side page edges. No markings within this book. Binding is firm. Slight lean to spine.
The SECULAR JOURNAL of Thomas Merton
"Could it ever possibly mean that I might someday become a monk in this monastery?"
The young man who wrote these words in his journal on April 12, 1941 was a recent graduate of Columbia and a new convert to Catholicism. He was making his Easter retreat at an abbey in Kentucky, the name of which had been given to him by a Columbia teacher of philosophy. As he wrote these words, he could not know that he would come back to the monastery—to stay. Nor could he know j that seven years later (in 1948) he would publish a book called The Seven Storey Mountain.
This Secular Journal, in which Thomas Merton recorded his private thoughts between the ages of 24 and 26, is after twenty years now being released to the public by the permission of his religious superiors. The story starts in a furnished room on Perry Street* Greenwich Village; moves to Cuba in the spring of 1940; returns to New York, St. Bonaventure College, and Harlem, and reaches a climax at the Abbey of Gethsemani during Holy Week, 1941. The last section records Merton's meeting with the founder of Friendship House, to whom he presented the journal as the story reaches its end in the words of the final entry: "I shall speak to one of the Friars."
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