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Entering the Silence: Becoming a Monk and a Writer: 2 (The Journals of Thomas Merton)

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  129 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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 l

Kindle Edition, 530 pages
Published (first published 1996)
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4.39  · 
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 ·  129 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Daryl Grigsby
loved it - Merton is so deep!
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thomas Merton would be prolific writer, Catholic thinker and leader in the Vietnam peace movement. Before the beginning of this journal he will come through World War II having left behind what we are led to believe was a somewhat desperate and dissipated life before entering a Trappist monastery in Gethsemane, in Kentucky. This is his second of several personal journals and covers the period from his novitiate to approximately 10 years later 1952. In brief it is a detailed, we are told unedited ...more
Craig Werner
Unless you're deeply interested in Merton, this collection of journal entries probably isn't a book you want to read. I am and I'm very glad I read it. Covering about ten years with varying degrees of detail, the diaries chart Merton's ordination as a priest and his first success as a writer, based primarily on The Seven Story Mountain. The most important development in the first half of the book is Merton's decision--or acceptance of his superior's decision--not to pursue the deeper silence of ...more
Matt Miles
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Other than this collection of journals, my only introduction to Thomas Merton was a smattering of his poems here and there, but I'd argue that's all you need to know to appreciate Entering the Silence. It covers over a decade of Merton's life, as he considers giving up his writing career to embrace complete silence and a more secluded life in devotion to God. He doesn't, but finds a renewed devotion in the tension between being a monk (and later a priest) and an author. There's a quiet power in ...more
Judith Shadford
I'm glad I read volume 2 after volume 6. To see how far Merton grew, matured, became alive. How he left off sermonizing. Even when you know that these were ecstatic experiences for him, they get heavy. One's mind wanders. The later volumes, so full of his skill as a naturalist, really...these are the persuasive accounts. And of course, the movement of his mind from dogma to theology to life. Fabulous. One volume to go.
Nick Jordan
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I give it five stars, but you definitely have to be interested in Merton minutiae to feel that way about this book. Most of it is still actual, private journal, and his life is both as boring and as interesting as anyone's.
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Merton's journals really click for me. He and I have a similiar faith path in the way we discover things and how we percieve ourselves before the Creator. My only saddness is knowing that it will be a long time before I can get the third volume brought to Israel.
May 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thomas Merton is a read in its own league.
Paul Birch
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So hard to write a review of any Merton book. It eats into you. The second journal gives so much more insight into his formation. From the beginning to the end you can see the change in him. Always probing and asking the right questions. I can never forget a Merton book
A compelling explication of the struggles and transports of a contemplative monk.
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Thomas Merton was one of the most influential Catholic authors of the 20th century. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, in the American state of Kentucky, Merton was an acclaimed Catholic spiritual writer, poet, author and social activist. Merton wrote over 60 books, scores of essays and reviews, and is the ongoing subject of many biographies. Merton was also a proponent of int ...more
“How free you can become if you stop worrying about things that don’t concern you!” 2 likes
“I don’t even need to know precisely what I am doing, except that I am acting for the love of God.” 2 likes
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