The Deacon's Bench
Thomas Merton Archives

“Since the diaconate, Our Lady has taken possession of my heart. Maybe, after all, she is the big grace of the diaconate. She was given to me with the book of the Gospels which, like her, gives Christ to the […]

I regret that I missed this last night: a new documentary on Thomas Merton that aired on PBS. (I think I’ve seen the DVD advertised, however…) Here’s a brief clip, with words by Merton, about his first “hermitage” — a […]

Lady, when on that night I left the Island that was your England,your love went with me, althought I coul dnot know it andcoul dnot make myself aware of it.It was your love, your intercession for me, before God,that was […]

Several readers have alerted me to this superb profile of Thomas Merton, which aired last month on PBS. December 10th marks a twin anniversary: the 67th anniversary of Merton’s entrance into the Abbey of Gethsemane in Kentucky, and the 40th […]

From last October, here’s part of my homily for All Saints Day 2007: Shortly after he converted to Catholicism in the late 1930s, Thomas Merton was walking the streets of New York with his friend, Robert Lax. Lax was Jewish, […]

Fr. Louis, of course, being Thomas Merton — who might raise an eyebrow over the historic naming of a Trappist to be a bishop. From Whispers: On Saturday, the Pope named Dom Yvon Moreau, abbot of Notre Dame du Lac […]

Not long ago, I stumbled upon a letter from Thomas Merton, who offered this advice to a man who was thinking about a career change: I would say there is one basic idea that should be kept in mind in […]

Jim Martin dug up this gem, in his remembrance of the great publisher and editor, Robert Giroux, who died last week. Giroux was a good friend of Thomas Merton’s when the two were at Columbia just before World War II. […]

Last night, my wife and I finally went to see “WALL-E”; everybody else on the planet was going to see “The Dark Knight,” so it was easy to get tickets. Two hours later, I staggered out of the theater, wiping […]

Devotees of Thomas Merton — you know who you are — will remember that Catherine Doherty and Madonna House in Harlem figured prominently in The Seven Storey Mountain. Merton spent many weeks there before leaving New York for Gethsemani. And […]