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Thomas Merton was born in Prades, France, to artists, Ruth and Owen Merton. Merton's active social and political conscience was informed by his conversion to Christianity and Catholicism in his early twenties. He worked for a time at Friendship House under the mentorship of Catherine Doherty and then began to sense a vocation in the priesthood.

The thoroughly secular man was about to undertake a lifelong spiritual journey into monasticism and the pursuit of his own spirituality. The more than 50 books, 2000 poems, and numerous essays, reviews, and lectures that have been recorded and published, now form the canon of Merton's writings. His influence as a religious thinker and social critic is taking its place alongside such luminaries as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Flannery O'Connor, and Martin Luther King.

-Biographical information and excerpt, with permission from the Thomas Merton Society of Canada.

 Merton's Journals

The Intimate MertonThe Intimate Merton
Patrick Hart & Jonathan Montaldo, eds.
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A one-volume condensation of Merton's journals. "Merton's real autobiography is in his personal journals. They reveal an uncaged mind ceaselessly churned by contemporary events and culture. We find him turning old answers into new questions,"---Newsweek. The innermost thoughts of an American Catholic icon. 348 pages in softcover.

The Asian Journals of Thomas MertonThe Asian Journals of Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton
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This volume, the journal Merton kept on the journey to Asia where his life ended, also is a culmination of his long spiritual journey as a writer.

A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His JournalsA Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals
Thomas Merton
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Spend 365 days with the Trappist monk whose prolific writings are admired in so many different circles. "Merton has been for many both a spiritual master and the symbol of the century for American Catholics,"---Christian Century. Soul-stirring observations for the church year. 224 pages, hardcover. HarperSanFrancisco.

Run to the Mountain,                            Volume 1: 1939-1941Run to the Mountain, Volume 1: 1939-1941
Patrick Hart
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This brillant inaugural volume of the journals of Thomas Merton covers the vibrant reflections of his young premonastic years. The seeds of Merton's passionate and intelligent faith are unveiled with this initial revelation of his spiritual life

A Search for Solitude, 1952-1960A Search for Solitude, 1952-1960
Thomas Merton
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As Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, critiques Thomas Merton's book "A Search for Solitude" he writes: "The trick is always to find the spiritual deeply embedded in this world, and to discover our own eternal dimensions in the midst of our foibles, failures, and sometimes neurotic idiosyncrasies. We have no better guide in these things than Merton, and you couldn't ask for a more lively writer." (Volume three.)

The Other Side Of The Mountain, Book #7The Other Side Of The Mountain, Book #7
Thomas Merton
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The seventh and final volume of Thomas Merton's journals finds him exploring new territory, both spiritual and geographic, in the last great journey prior to his untimely death. Traveling in the United States and the Far East, Merton enjoys a new freedom that brings with it a rich mix of solitude, spirited friendship, and interaction with monks of other traditions.
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