19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
What I'm finding in The Seven Storey Mountain, 12 April 2009
This book is a romance - the story of how Thomas Merton and his monastic vocation got together. In it you will find many vivid details of Merton's life before he became a monk, and also a gripping description of the awakening in him not only of a spiritual life but a life ordered and nourished by religious rituals. He started making daily prayers on train journeys in New York State, before he even knew if an order would accept him.
But that was a long way down the line - much of the book tracks his journey through the Secular Wonderland which if we're not careful is so hypnotising, we'll be on that ride for life. Or maybe it isn't hypnotising at all and that's why this book is a best seller...
Merton is a good writer. If you long for something which will show you that there are more options in this world than there seem to be and that innocence is not only something lost in childhood and pined for but something precious which can be fought for and regained - read this book. It is a template and inspiration for how to write from a perspective which puts the inner life first. But that is a secular response - the book is also a strong call to get on with it, and live for God. Not that Merton is giving advice, but that his story is inspiring.