Fwd: Thomas Merton's birthday
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Jim Forest" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Jan 31, 2010 2:00 PM
Subject: Thomas Merton's birthday
To: "OPF List" <email@example.com>
January 31, 2010
It's the birthday of Thomas Merton, born in Prades, France in 1915. Merton was a Trappist monk, but he was also the author of more than 50 books, 2,000 poems, and a personal diary that spanned much of his lifetime.
Merton decided to write his master's thesis on William Blake and found himself deeply influenced by Blake. He converted to Christianity and, in 1941, entered a Trappist abbey in Kentucky where he remained for the rest of his life.
In a diary entry written before becoming a monk, Merton wrote, "Going to the Trappists is exciting. I return to the idea again and again: 'Give up everything, give up everything!'"
Merton became well-known throughout the world, in part because of his writing, in particular his autobiography The Seven Story Mountain (1948).
Garrison Keillor, editor
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