By Thomas Merton
The second one quantity of Thomas Merton's "gusty, passionate journals" (Thomas Moore) chronicles Merton's developments to priesthood and emergence as a bestselling writer with the shock luck of his autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain. Spanning an eleven-year interval, getting into the Silence displays Merton's fight to stability his vocation to solitude with the budding literary occupation that may quickly verified him as essentially the most vital non secular writers of our century.
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Extra resources for Entering the Silence: Becoming a Monk and a Writer (The Journals of Thomas Merton, V. 2)
Reverend Father didn’t bite. However, we now have the property, and there is no road-house. , wearing the Cistercian habit, and nobody minds, he says. He hopes Fr. James [Fox] is doing the same. Georgia being Georgia, that demands a certain amount of courage. October 26, 1946 In Reverend Father’s room today we were speaking about the Feast of Christ the King which is tomorrow—except that we do not yet celebrate it in the Order. , to the Cardinal Procurator, he could get the feast for us at once-and then it transpired that it was he who, in this way, got the 50-days indulgence for all who kiss the ring of their Abbot in our Order.
Their cloisters were like the chant in our gradual and in our old antiphoner. 2 A perfection so pure and so vital, springing directly from a religious Rule and way of life, argues a spiritual fruitfulness deeper than we can appreciate today. And I think it is a fruitfulness that belongs to the cenobitic life as such. The simplicity of Sénanque or Fontenay could only house a community of cenobites. A monastery of hermits is necessarily so clumsy that it can only be an architectural monster. However, I agree that one hermitage for one hermit stands a good chance of being beautiful!
Another thing he so often insists upon in Chapter—attention to the little rules—a delicate conscience that omits nothing that can please God is more important in his eyes than great mortifications and spectacular penances. At the same time, he is most careful to enforce every detail of penance in the Rule; he cannot stand the idea of a Trappist who compromises with our austerities and seeks his own comfort. He is adamant against all mitigations to the Rule that are not strictly necessary—and even though our modifications in regard to summer clothing are surely necessary, I have heard him say that it wouldn’t kill us to wear wool.