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

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3.42  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Spiritual writer Thomas Merton is the most influential American Catholic author of the twentieth century. Despite appearances to the contrary, in 1966 he was a troubled, lonely monk. Only when the suffering Merton fell madly in love with a student nurse, a forbidden, erotic affair condemned by the Catholic Church, would he discover whether his devotion to God was stronger ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published November 10th 2009 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 3.42  · 
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 ·  24 ratings  ·  8 reviews


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Chemteacher

This book is somewhat interesting for those who've both read a lot of, and about, Merton in the past and are aware of his amazing meltdown in the late 60s.

Thomas Merton, as a person, was an astonishingly gifted writer. His ability gave him an uncanny sense of how to describe and probe the depths of an idea, an impression, a mood or a moment. He was near legendary among those who loved his work. He was, and still is, a pleasure to read. Merton probably would have been a noted writer no matter wh
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Brian Wilcox
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shaw writes with a commendable objectivity regarding what many would see as a moral blemish on the leading spiritual guide, worldwide, in the last Century. He steers clear of high-road moral judgment, presenting us a Merton fully human and in no way thereby less Christian, or the contemplative, spiritual guide, and monastic.

Having received much inspiration from Merton's writings prior, I, myself being a vowed contemplative, appreciated this work as an insightful look into how a stron
...more
Kenneth
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-researched biography of Thomas Merton, the famous 20th century Trappist monk who popularized the contemplative life in his times, highlighting his humanity and Spirit-inspired search to find love and be loved, first on the human plane, in order to know and experience what it means to be one with "God alone." God, indeed, allows us to experience the love of a human person, if only to have a glimpse of the infinite love that God has for us. This book lays bare how Merton wrestled with the D ...more
Craig Bergland
I found the author both biased and naive. He seems both to equate perfection with sanctity and to prefer plastic monastics who never struggle, never doubt, never reflect on their lives and the choices they have made. He also clearly sees all vocations other than celibacy as second rate, and sees love as problematic to holiness. I found this book to be biased in the extreme and lacking a much needed psychological insight. Don’t waste your time.
Rhina Guidos
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
excellent read. amazing book that takes an intimate look at Thomas Merton and what may have led to his affair with a nurse while he was a monk. the message is that through finding true love, a love that gives everything for another, he's able to understand the love that God call us to. It also details life in a monastery quite accurately, the politics, the interests and conflicts, the good and the bad. it paints a great portrayal of any human being, who has doubts, who seeks, and sometimes finds ...more
Jeanne
Nov 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i love thomas merton's writings and found this book just ok. it went thru his life and really wasn't anything new except a reminder that we are all searching for love and not of us is without issues. merton's writing stands the test of time
James Culbertson
An interesting account of the life of a man whose writing intrigued me in my late teens.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

A former criminal defense attorney and legal analyst for USA Today, CNN and ESPN, Mark Shaw is the author of 25 books and counting. His most recent is "The Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What's My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen." Additional books include "The Poison Patria
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