Years ago, waaaaaay before I was Catholic, my friend and fellow Bible Study member Chad Stutz gave me a book, Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton for a Christmas gift exchange. Recently, at a used book sale I saw a 1951 edition of the book The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton. I only bought it because it was a hardcover book by an author I recognized and only cost 50 cents. It has been sitting on my shelf ever since.
Since I finished The Chosen and was awaiting shipment of my Amazon order containing all the books on my Thomas Jefferson Education-inspired "syllabus" - I picked up and devoured all 423 pages of The Seven Storey Mountain. It is a well-written autobiography of Merton's life up to and including his conversion to Catholicism and then detailing his entrance into a Trappist monastery.
Listen to all the kooky coincidences that occurred while I was reading:
1) Merton mentions Mortimer Adler. This Adler guy keeps popping up all over the place in my reading, most notably in discussions about Great Books - which he founded.
2) Merton also mentions Aldous Huxley. As I read his mention, my husband was sitting next to me in bed reading Huxley's Brave New World.
3) I was very inspired by Merton's testimony, and shared portions of it with Kevin. One night, he reached over to his nightstand drawer where he had a This Rock magazine with Merton on the cover and including an article about how he went a little wiggy in his later years. I waited til I finished the book this morning to read the article. Kinda depressing.
Put Merton's book, completed, back on my shelf. Maybe one day someone else I know will read it and we can have an enlightening discussion about it.
Began Little Britches by Ralph Moody today. So I am now officially following my syllabus. Happy reading to me!