Thomas Merton was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist and scholar of comparative religion.
51 Facts About Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton was a member of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, near Bardstown, Kentucky, living there from 1941 to his death.
Thomas Merton became a keen proponent of interfaith understanding, exploring Eastern religions through his study of mystic practice.
Thomas Merton traveled extensively in the course of meeting with them and attending international conferences on religion.
Thomas Merton was born in Prades, Pyrenees-Orientales, France, on January 31,1915, to parents of Welsh origin: Owen Merton, a New Zealand painter active in Europe and the United States, and Ruth Jenkins Merton, an American Quaker and artist.
Thomas Merton was baptized in the Church of England, in accordance with his father's wishes.
In 1917, the family moved into an old house in Flushing, Queens, where Thomas Merton's brother John Paul was born on November 2,1918.
Thomas Merton died from it on October 21,1921, in Bellevue Hospital.
Thomas Merton was six years old and his brother not yet three.
In 1926, when Thomas Merton was eleven, his father enrolled him in a boys' boarding school in Montauban, the Lycee Ingres.
Thomas Merton began an 18th-century English literature course during the spring semester taught by Mark Van Doren, a professor with whom he maintained a lifetime friendship.
Thomas Merton was impressed by him, believing the monk was profoundly centered in God.
On November 16,1938, Thomas Merton underwent the rite of baptism at Corpus Christi Church and received Holy Communion.
Thomas Merton decided he would pursue his PhD at Columbia and moved from Douglaston to Greenwich Village.
On December 10,1941, Thomas Merton arrived at the Abbey of Gethsemani and spent three days at the monastery guest house, waiting for acceptance into the Order.
The novice master would come to interview Thomas Merton, gauging his sincerity and qualifications.
Thomas Merton had a severe cold from his stay in the guest house, where he sat in front of an open window to prove his sincerity.
In March 1942, during the first Sunday of Lent, Thomas Merton was accepted as a novice at the monastery.
In 1943 Thomas Merton was tasked to translate religious texts and write biographies on the saints for the monastery.
Thomas Merton approached his new writing assignment with the same fervor and zeal he displayed in the farmyard.
On March 19,1944, Thomas Merton made his temporary profession of vows and was given the white cowl, black scapular and leather belt.
In November 1944 a manuscript Thomas Merton had given to friend Robert Lax the previous year was published by James Laughlin at New Directions: a book of poetry titled Thirty Poems.
Thomas Merton had mixed feelings about the publishing of this work, but Dunne remained resolute over Thomas Merton continuing his writing.
The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton's autobiography, was written during two-hour intervals in the monastery scriptorium as a personal project.
Thomas Merton began corresponding with a Carthusian at St Hugh's Charterhouse in England.
Thomas Merton had harbored an appreciation for the Carthusian Order since coming to Gethsemani in 1941, and would later come to consider leaving the Cistercians for that Order.
In 1948 The Seven Storey Mountain was published to critical acclaim, with fan mail to Thomas Merton reaching new heights.
Thomas Merton published several works for the monastery that year, which were: Guide to Cistercian Life, Cistercian Contemplatives, Figures for an Apocalypse, and The Spirit of Simplicity.
Dunne's passing was painful for Thomas Merton, who had come to look on the abbot as a father figure and spiritual mentor.
Fox permitted Thomas Merton to continue his writing, Thomas Merton now having gained substantial recognition outside the monastery.
On January 5,1949, Thomas Merton took a train to Louisville and applied for American citizenship.
Thomas Merton would revise Seeds of Contemplation several times, viewing his early edition as error-prone and immature.
One incident indicative of this is the drive he took in the monastery's jeep, during which Thomas Merton, acting in a possibly manic state, erratically slid around the road and almost caused a head-on collision.
Thomas Merton became well known for his dialogues with other faiths and his non-violent stand during the race riots and Vietnam War of the 1960s.
Thomas Merton had developed a personal radicalism which had political implications but was not based on ideology, rooted above all in non-violence.
Thomas Merton regarded his viewpoint as based on "simplicity" and expressed it as a Christian sensibility.
Thomas Merton finally achieved the solitude he had long desired while living in a hermitage on the monastery grounds in 1965.
On December 10,1968, Thomas Merton was at a Red Cross retreat facility named Sawang Kaniwat in Samut Prakan, a province near Bangkok, Thailand, attending a monastic conference.
Thomas Merton's body was flown back to the United States on board a US military aircraft returning from Vietnam.
Thomas Merton was first exposed to and became interested in Eastern religions when he read Aldous Huxley's Ends and Means in 1937, the year before his conversion to Catholicism.
Thomas Merton found many parallels between the language of these Christian mystics and the language of Zen philosophy.
Thomas Merton sent a copy to Suzuki with the hope that he would comment on Thomas Merton's view that the Desert Fathers and the early Zen masters had similar experiences.
In keeping with his idea that non-Christian faiths had much to offer Christianity in experience and perspective and little or nothing in terms of doctrine, Thomas Merton distinguished between Zen Buddhism, an expression of history and culture, and Zen.
Thomas Merton wrote a series of articles on American Indian history and spirituality for The Catholic Worker, The Center Magazine, Theoria to Theory, and Unicorn Journal.
Thomas Merton explored themes such as American Indian fasting and missionary work.
Thomas Merton's influence has grown since his death, and he is widely recognized as an important 20th-century Catholic mystic and thinker.
Thomas Merton had prohibited their publication for 25 years after his death.
Thomas Merton was one of four Americans mentioned by Pope Francis in his speech to a joint meeting of the United States Congress on September 24,2015.
Thomas Merton was a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions.
Thomas Merton was portrayed briefly by Adam Kilgour as a character in the movie Quiz Show.
Thomas Merton saw her again on July 16,1966, and wrote:.