As others have pointed out, Thomas Merton was human, complete with human frailities. I believe that is beside the point however.
Merton’s book “New Seeds of Contemplation” saved me when I was going through a very tragic period in my life. He gave me reason to hope. He suggested I “become the artist God intended me to be”. He invited me to “join in the general dance”.
He showed me life was indeed worth living despite the tragedies.
I have read “When the trees say nothing” - a collection of his personal writings on the nature he lived among. I love his reflection on his awarenes of God in the forest.
I have read “No Man is an Island”. “Thoughts in Solitude” and “Choosing to Love the World”. Each provides different insights that are important for me to reflect on at different times in my life.
And I have read “Zen and the Birds of Appetite”. I never once felt Merton was turning away from his Catholic beliefs.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going, I do not see the road ahead of me…But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you … Therefore, I will trust in you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” Thomas Merton ~ Thoughts in Solitude
Go with Love, Go with God