The Deacon's Bench
Thomas Merton Archives

I’m reading Thomas Merton’s “New Seeds of Contemplation,” and it seems like every page has a glistening pearl, waiting to be discovered. This caught my eye the other day, and it seems apt for Labor Day: “The requirements of a …Read More

Some months back, I posted on the capital campaign underway at the Trappist Monastery of the Holy Spirit down in Georgia. Now this development has made the local news. Take a look: Father Methodius Telnack has lived on the grounds …Read More

A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying God. It “consents,” so to speak, to God’s creative love. It is expressing an idea which is in …Read More

I stumbled on this tonight, and thought: “Must post.” I think there’s more than a little Merton in this gorgeous reflection by a new Episcopal deacon, describing his ordination: One by one they came forward and one by one I …Read More

Devoted Mertonites (including Your Humble Blogger) will not be surprised at this bit of news, but it’s evidently raising a few eyebrows: Rarely has a romance seemed so star-crossed. He was 51, she 25. She was a pretty, petite student-nurse; …Read More

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. “  — Thomas Merton, who …Read More

Here’s something to be thankful for tomorrow: the Trappists at Genesee, celebrating their 50th year in upstate New York. (Those of us who loved Henri Nouwen’s “Genesee Diary” will find this brief video especially captivating.) Enjoy.

Wander over to the always-thoughtful Intentional Disciples blog for a fascinating dissection of why Merton’s “The Seven Storey Mountain” struck such a chord in the post-World War II era. His life’s journey had something powerful and provocative to say to …Read More

Leave it to Doc Mac to dig up this fascinating bit of Tom Merton trivia, regarding the late-in-life conversion of movie star Gary Cooper. McNamara’s Blog quotes Cooper’s daughter: In the mid to late fifties, my father’s conversion to Catholicism …Read More

Good old Patrick McNamara remembered, and posted on the happy fact that today is Thomas Merton’s birthday: Today marks the birth of Thomas Merton, who writes at the beginning of his autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain: “On the last day …Read More