Thomas Merton: Faithful Visionary by Michael W. Higgins. Liturgical Press
About the Book:
From the People of God Series
Thomas Merton was the consummate postmodern holy one: flawed, anti-institutional, a voice for the voiceless. But he was also a classical traditionalist: centered, obedient, in search of stability. He was a religious thinker of remarkable insight, a social commentator of courage and conviction, and a writer of startling virtuosity.
Michael W. Higgins recounts the life of this insatiable wanderer. He explores the various layers of influence and evolution in Merton's thought and spirituality. This book tells the remarkable story of a life that remains to be understood from its beginnings and long after its premature ending.
By: Kellan Day, Editor of faith alive books. Kellan is a recent graduate of Calvin College, Grand Rapids, focusing on religion, gender studies and studio art.
Michael W. Higgins, a scholar and admirer of the renowned monk of Gethsemani, Thomas Merton, writes a clear and compelling tale of the monk’s faithful yet boundary-breaking life.
The brief 106-page account does not starve the reader for lack of detail, but instead artfully creates depth through its spot-on choice of autobiographical content.
Higgins maps out Merton’s faith journey, beginning in his younger years with the influence of his parents. His mother Ruth, in particular, taught Merton that there is an “extreme importance of place or environment in shaping our lives.” Higgins picks up on this theme as he follows Merton’s life through the places or environments that most influenced him. As Higgins sees it, Merton inhabited the vocation of pilgrim, for the monk never quite settles in the way one might expect him to.
“Merton regarded humanity as instinctive wanderers. He saw the spiritual journey or pilgrimage as a metaphorical peregrinatio, or ‘going forth into strange countries.’ He himself undertook the hardest of journeys, and as a consequence became by the time of his death the most spiritually fit of his age.”