Top critical review
Thomas Merton is a true scholar
Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2017
The content of this book has overwhelmed me again and again, and it’s hard to believe that Thomas Merton had the maturity and knowledge, while he was in his twenties, to write such an amazing work. For a twenty something to have such a vast vocabulary is quite an accomplishment. This book inspires the reader to question his or her own opinions and level of spiritual commitment to his or her faith, but Merton has beliefs and understandings about his Catholic faith that I didn’t agree with and seems too extreme even for someone who lives in a monastic society.
This book does not compare to his book “The Seven Story Mountain.” I felt The Seven Story Mountain was an inspiring work that was easy to read, and I just loved that book and it inspired me to read this book.
But, I found the content of this book to be convoluted and difficult to follow at times. On many occasions, Merton would go on and on about a particular topic, he felt strongly about, and that became very tiresome, but keep in mind that Thomas Merton was a young writer, when he wrote this book, so that might explain why so much of this book was long winded. I also felt Merton was a bit angry or disappointed with the church’s understanding or perceptions of a contemplative life, and he had an axe to grind.
I think Thomas Merton is a true scholar and has a lot of work that is stellar, so I would encourage people to look at some of his other books.