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The Seven Storey Mountain
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Prior Discussions > 6. Life changes

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John Seymour | 1824 comments Mod
6. Thomas Merton was, at different times, a narcissist, a communist, an atheist, a Protestant, a Catholic, a monk, and a priest. Do you think it shows strength or weakness in his character for him to have made so many changes in belief and philosophy during his life? Why?

John Seymour | 1824 comments Mod
These were the only questions I could find on the book, and they are less than satisfying. This one in particular seems to think that people should adopt a lifeview in early adulthood and stick to it. As Keynes said: "When the facts change, I change my mind." In addition, the question is structured in a combative manner as if these were each discrete life changes, rather than an entirely natural drifting from "birthright" Protestantism to atheistic narcissism and collegiate dabbling in communism, followed by a conversion to Catholicism and a development of vocation.

message 3: by Jill (new)

Jill A. | 654 comments His steps on the way to conversion are fascinating. As a philosopher, I love his comment that he can't like/believe anyone who hates Plato.
Bramachari, this non-Christian, gives such solid advice. And how telling his observation that he can't take Christianity seriously because Christian missionaries live so comfortably relative to the people they want to evangelize.
The story of his "preparation" for baptism and being totally left on his own afterward makes me so grateful for the RCIA process we have today, including the mystagogia after baptism. I wondered why his baptism was "conditional"; surely no reason to think he might have been baptized earlier. I also don't understand why he had to go to confession right away, since baptism washes away all sin, original and actual.
His description of his first experience of receiving communion is amazing.
I'm intrigued by his statement that Mary "is the Mother of Christ still, his Mother in our souls. She is the Mother of the supernatural life in us. Sanctity comes to us through her intercession. God has willed that there be no other way." Really? No other way? not sure I believe that...
I love his description of "discovering" St. Therese and how "humiliating" that was for him since she had nothing "naturally" that he found sympathetic.
I love the way John Paul's baptism is also cleansing/forgiving for his brother.

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