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Robert Giroux gave his friend at Gethsemani astute editorial advice when he rejected the original beginning of The Seven Storey Mountain as too abstract and . 11 Jul (This review of Thomas Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain ran in the October 16, issue of America). Twentieth-century Augustine. A modern-day Confessions of Saint Augustine, The Seven Storey Mountain is one of the most influential religious works of the twentieth century. This edition.

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They make us think that we really understand things of which we have no practical knowledge at all. And it works both ways. Merton’s descriptions of his prayer experiences inspired a jealousy in me.

The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton

Speaking just about some of the mountain tops he climbed: They say that God works in mysterious ways. How do you begin to reflect on the currents that ran in a young, talented writer’s life that moved him to become a Trappist monk in his mid-twenties?

From here it looks as though the wheat is already beginning to ripen on St. There were two main things about this book that turned me off: Soon he was filling up his journals with the work that led to the book which Time magazine later described as having ” A passage that hit me with particular force is Merton’s adult explanation of his youthful scorn for his adoring little brother, who followed him everywhere only to be dismissed and rejected.

And that is the life called sanctifying grace. The first printing run was increased from 5, to 12, If this was all that Merton accomplished in The Seven Story Mountainthen this would not be the book that it is. The first printing was planned for 7, copies, but pre-publication sales exceeded 20, Hmm, surprise, surprise, a scorned book sells millions.

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For the rock band, see Seven Storey Mountain. As a Protestant, there are elements of Catholic theology that I could never affirm, but Merton, an excellent spokesman, gives the reader a sense of the aesthetic beauty and solemnity of the Catholic faith that us pragmatist Protestants sorely lack. So how did he become a monk? There was something inherently motivational about it; Merton’s passion for books was alluring, but then again, there were moments where you felt like you were being lectured to by a priest.

Because if one person stoyr, if one of us does well, then it really does help the rest. Is he perhaps stretching “poetic license”?

But it was written when I was still quite young, and that is the way it remains. Perhaps this book is meant to, as they say, preach to the converted, but if so then that is a rather disappointingly narrow outlook.

His sensitivity and positive outlook endeared him to me ,ountain. Hear them and come: Danell Dumas Yes, I am currently reading it on my Kindle. Merton writes in this one of his over seventy published books about his early life, conversion to Catholicism, and agonizing decision to join an order.

We’ve gone through several major spiritual autobiographies Thoreau, King, Gandhi, Day They’ve all been fascinating, but none were written with etory skill and power as this one. The one really off-putting aspect of the book is the occasional note of pontification in his descriptions of the parts of the world he lived in, his occasional sermons, and his occasional awkward “purple patch” of melodrama.

The idea of having the truth esven the universe expressed in a single catechism and of having a single ritualistic practice The Liturgy of the Hours accepted and undertaken with a profound passion left me feeling empty in comparison. When ghomas ray of light strikes a crystal, it gives a new quality to the crystal.


Views Read Edit View history. Thomas Merton died in of accidental electrocution while attending an international monasticism conference in BangkokThailand. He finds that solace in the rigors of Catholicism and the monastic mohntain, after finding only unhappiness in the secular world.

By the end, when he is at Gethsemani, even the dates are feast days rather than calendar dates, which makes it difficult for a non-Catholic reader to know how much time has elapsed. A lot of what Merton has to say is buried in intellectual stuff he is, after all, a brilliant Columbia gradbut, at base, I see a hurting orphan who muntain comfort in a heavenly father, and the earthly brotherhood of Trappists, Dominicans and the et al of other Catholics who cross his path.

The Seven Storey Mountain

Then, rather than searching for a cause and cure for the emptiness in his life, he storry a justification and a substitution. The second, in particular, by some unctuous “we’re so much more enlightened than this since Vatican II” type, really made me wonder if I would find anything in Mounain that made any sense to me.

And how do we find out what that is? Then in the second part, after Merton was baptized Merton is a gifted writer, and his descriptions of growing up in Europe are interesting.

I am always interested to know how people can change religion into some kind of “awakening.