monasticism

Thomas Merton on the Monastic Way


Thomas Merton is one of the most famous of monastics of recent times. He was a prolific writer, a man who experienced deep tensions within him and who knew how to name and describe those tensions (for the benefit of his readers). Merton was one who made accessible to the larger world, what was at the time, a rather hidden, mysterious, confusing Monastic Way. Merton was a Cistercian Monk. The Cistercians were a renewal movement  (begun in 1098) in the Benedictine tradition. The Cistercians sought to recapture the original simplicity and austerity of the Benedictine Way. Bernard of Clairvaux and Aelred of Rievaulx were among the most famous of the founding Cistercians. (Please note the Final Note about Merton at the end of the post.)

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