Thomas Merton and the Noonday Demon
In Thomas Merton and the Noonday Demon, Donald Grayson transforms a long-neglected cache of letters found in an ancient monastery into a book that offers new insight into the author of these letters, Thomas Merton, the renowned spiritual writer. At the time of their writing, the mid-1950s, he was living as a Trappist monk, at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. Having reached an impasse in his monastic vocation he decided to leave Gethsamani for the Monastery of Camaldoli in Italy. Camaldoli at that time, bucolic and peaceful outwardly, was inwardly riven by a pre-Vatican II culture war; whereas Gethsemani, which he tried so hard to leave, became, when he was given his hermitage there in 1965, his place to recover Eden. In walking with Merton on this journey, and reading the letters he wrote and received at the time, we find ourselves asking, as he did, with so much energy and honesty, the deep questions that we may well need to answer in our own lives.
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